It is interesting to note that the Times of India ranks low within offline readership in India [Leading English daily ranks eighth in terms of physical readership] but leads in total app downloads versus Hindi/regional language dailies. This possibly throws some light on how individual behavior relating to content consumption differs between big and small cities. We believe the same may apply to online content as well. A key enabler of higher online engagement (especially in smaller cities and villages) may be the need for startups to propagate more local content.
According to Google, Indians accessing the Internet in local languages will more than double from 150 mn currently to
about 400 mn by 2020. Google has seen 10x growth in local language queries over the past 1.5 years.
According to IAMAI, enabling local language content on the Internet will lead to 39% growth in the Internet user base. IAMAI further predicts that 75% growth in Internet users will be from rural India (where regional languages dominate), while only 16% growth will come from urban India. As an example, Hindi is reported as the mother tongue by ~40% of Indians; to woo these users Google will soon launch the Hindi version of Google Assistant on its messenger Allo. Snapdeal and Facebook are some of the other players that now support Hindi on their platform.