India to have 859 million smartphones users in 2022: ASSOCHAM-PwC

The number of smartphone users in the country is expected to double to 859 million by 2022 from 468 million users in 2017 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9%, according to an ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study.

As of 2017, the number of smartphones in the country stood at 468 million and likely to reach 859 million smartphones users by 2022. The non-smartphone ownership in India will decrease from 701 million in 2017 to 504 million in 2022 at a CAGR of -6.4% as more and more people opt for smartphones, noted ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study on ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined’.

With lower than ever data tariffs and increasing smartphone penetration in the country, it is safe to assume that the VoD market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India. The important factor for the VoD industry is the availability of devices that are compatible with online video viewing. A large volume of consumption occurs on smartphones, noted the joint study.

Tablets are another promising device for the VoD industry. However, India has just about 5.3% penetration as of 2017, and this is expected to go up to just about 10% in 2022. The low penetration is definitely a missed opportunity for players as tablets offer fairly larger screens which are better for consuming HD content as compared to smartphones.

Television is the largest sub-segment within the entertainment and media industry and will continue to remain so in the near future. While the Indian television industry is set to grow from 13,314 million USD (8,66,181 million INR) in 2017 to 22,003 million USD (14,33,137 million INR) in 2022 at a CAGR of 10.6%, the global growth average is as low as 1.4%. This proves that India will continue to ride on traditional forms of entertainment despite the disruption in the industry. Television is one of the most economical forms of content consumption, making it a popular source of entertainment for rural India, noted the joint study.

With a CAGR of 22.6% during the period of 2017–2022, the Indian video OTT market is poised to outperform the global video OTT market, which is pegged to have a CAGR of 10.1% during the same period. Also, by 2022, the Indian video OTT market will be amongst the top 10 markets globally with a market size of 823 million USD (53,630 million INR), highlighted the joint study.

Low data tariffs and increasing smartphone penetration have ensured that consumers and their devices are always connected and on. Mobile devices are becoming the consumer’s preferred choice to consume content. This has made it crucial for content creators and distributors to tailor their content and services for the mobile consumer.

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