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Television reigns in rural India despite 79 pc OTT scope

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MUMBAI: Television remains the dominant medium as far as the news, entertainment and advertising need in rural India is concerned although 79 per cent consumers (signifying crucial scope for OTT platforms) own a mobile, including those living in towns/villages inhabited by as low as 2,000-3000.

Market research firm Kantar IMRB has found that only 22 per cent of rural consumers who were surveyed read a magazine or a newspaper in the four weeks preceding the survey. And, only four per cent surveyed said they listened to the radio, Mint reported.

The penetration of mobile phones is the highest in southern and northern India at 80 per cent while it was 75 per cent in the west and  78 per cent in the east.

In its report 'Star 2017,' the firm said that it found that 59 per cent of all rural consumers polled watched television in the previous week before they were queried for the survey. The report showed scant use of personal computer or laptop in rural India.

These conclusions are in sync with BARC India data. As reported by Indiantelevision.com, according to BARC figures released in February 2017, the all-India TV universe has increased to 183 million from the earlier collated figure of 154 million with the growth in rural audience showing a quantum jump signifying that upswing is coming from non-urban areas.

The data highlights that while the total urban TV universe stood at 84,414 (in ‘000) in 2017, the comparative rural figure is 98,639 (in ‘000), signifying that the rural segment has grown at a faster rate, which opens up whole new marketing options for broadcasters and advertisers. The comparative old figures as per BARC estimates in 2015 were 77544,000 (urban) vs. 75967,000 (rural).

This data showed that, while the urban-rural audience mix was almost equal earlier, the rural segment has outpaced the urban as per latest figures in rate of growth. The data reiterates that since it started surveying the rural audience, a whole new world has opened up for subscribers of the data, which, incidentally, also include government organisations apart from the traditional TV channels and advertising agencies.

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