IAMAI recently released their Vernacular Report 2012, which looked at the usage of local language online content consumption, which clearly showed that more than 1 in 3 users use local language content while accessing the internet.
India, by end of 2012, had total of 150 million internet user out which 122 million showed active internet usage. Over 37% or nearly 45 million of these active users preferred access in their local language.
The report found that 64% of the Rural Internet users (24.3 Mln) active Internet users have used the internet in the local language compared to only 25% of Urban Internet Users or 20.9 Million Active Internet users.
Reasons for not using internet
The report points out that fifth most important why non-internet users have stayed away from internet is “lack of local language content”. The first four reasons cater to lack of Infrastructure (no internet connection, computer etc) and beliefs (no need for internet) and lack of knowledge of internet.
From the report it is quite clear that India needs to develop more local language content, which will lead to further adoption of internet from the masses. Though, infrastructure remains the most important point why internet has such low penetration in India even today. With population of over 1.2 billion only about one-tenth are active internet users!
What content is consumed on internet in local language?
Email remains the most popular activity among the Indian internet users who prefer local language, followed by the use of search engines for information finding.
It is quite interesting to note that news is the third most popular activity with local language users. 51% local language users consume news in their native language as compared to only 20 percent of general internet users. The reason, why news may be so popular is because, it is probably the only content which they can find in local language.
Another interesting finding from the report is that Social Networking, which is probably the second most popular activity after email amongst general internet user, does not figure at all amongst the local language user preferences.
One thing though is quite clear from the report – India needs more local language content on the internet and there is huge opportunity for content publishers in this particular area.[Download the entire pdf report]