How India consumes digital news

Effective partnerships with news aggregators, social media, video and vernacular key to future gro

MUMBAI: India is a large, chaotic, noisy democracy at work. And nothing encapsulates this better than the desire for news in Indians, be it through print, broadcast or even digital. Digital news in India, as per comScore’s latest report, receives an average of 282 million unique visitors (UVs) every month, making India the second-largest online news consuming nation in the world after China.

Digital news is also the most popular content category by reach, having a 96 per cent reach, just above social media, entertainment and retail at 95, 95, and 94 per cent. News penetration in India is actually higher than other key populations like China and the USA, says the report titled ‘Trends in Online News Consumption,’ that analysed data for the month of September.

However, despite the high penetration of digital news in India, the average time an Indian spends on news sites at 191 minutes is much lower that countries like Finland (667), China (496), and the US (352).

The rise of news aggregators

Thanks, perhaps, to the high-demand of news in India and to comparatively lower time spent on news sites, the biggest players in news category are news aggregators. Data from comScore’s report shows that out of the 282 UVs for the month of September, nearly 158 million came through news aggregators. Together, news aggregators recorded a staggering 187 per cent growth in 2019.

Among news aggregators, Dailyhunt remains the undisputed market leader, having 43 per cent market reach. Flipboard, Newspoint, Google News, Inshorts, and UCNews have carved out a space for themselves but none of them is in a position to challenge Dailyhunt’s current market domination.

Mobile leads the way

The popularity of news aggregators is also aided by another peculiar Indian market trait, the popularity of mobile screen over desktop. Over 90 per cent of the total time Indians spends on digital news sites is on mobile screens with desktop compromising just below 10 per cent. The compatibility of news aggregators on mobile screens is aiding their growth.

However, the same poses challenges for advertisers looking to monetise the popularity of digital news. Desktop interface is more compatible for advertisings than a mobile screen. News aggregators, currently, advertise by strategically placing branded content and promotions in between important stories.

Vernacular shows promise

Another feature that distinguishes Indian digital news market from other key markets like China, USA, Brazil, Canada, and the UK is the tremendous content diversity on news sites in India.  While all other key digital news markets are one language dominated, in India, a huge amount of traffic to news sites comes from vernacular languages.

News, but in video format

The report also finds that for news sites, video remains the best option to engage consumers. In the last one year, top news sites have increased their video output vastly, and have benefitted from it.

Also, You Tube is the most preferred partner for growth in news videos. The study finds that news sites benefit tremendously by contributing videos to You Tube. The report finds that out of the total 85 million UVs on India Today Group site, 84 million came from You Tube. For Times Internet, the figure was 25 million UVs out of the total of 33 million UVs.

News is here to stay

If there is one take away from the report, then it is that news, in whatever format, is here to stay. Also, in India, digital news is showing growth alongside a healthy growth in broadcast news, without much harm to print news.

However, for news sites to remain relevant in a fast changing Indian digital news market, videos and effective partnerships with social media like You Tube and Facebook, is critical.

Latest Reads
ZEE5 Global collaborates with the LuLu Group in the middle east to celebrate 'India Utsav’

ZEE5 Global has partnered with the LuLu Group for their 'India Utsav' celebrations. The event was launched at the same time across the GCC countries on 15 August 2022, at Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi, in the Group's first-ever simultaneous region-wide launch of its celebration of the 75th Indian...

Television TV Channels GECs
Impact Wrestling extends partnership with Eurosport India

Anthem Sports & Entertainment’s professional wrestling promotion, Impact Wrestling, has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery’s premium sports channel, Eurosport India. The partnership will ensure that viewers across India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will...

Television TV Channels Sports
Sony Entertainment Television acquires the rights to Endemol Shine’s MasterChef India

Celebrating food, togetherness and diversity, Sony Entertainment Television embarks on an appetising journey as it acquires the rights for the Indian adaptation of the internationally revered culinary reality format, "MasterChef", produced and distributed by Endemol Shine India.

Television TV Channels GECs
News18 Kerala announces special line-up of programs for Onam

Mumbai:  Onam – the colourful festival of Kerala’s culture and tradition – is round the corner. The 10-day festivity includes Sadhya, Thiruvathira Kali, Pookalam, Ona-thallu, Pulikali, Onavillu, and welcome songs for King Mahabali. Highlighting Onam’s sublime activities such as Pookalam, aromatic...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
“We’re looking to invest and reinvest about Rs 3000 crore over 5 to 7 years”: Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Aditya Birla Group’s Applause Entertainment has released over 40 shows on various OTT platforms so far and is now venturing into feature films.

Television TV Channels People
News18 Network launches News18 Jammu/Kashmir/Ladakh/Himachal TV channel

News18 Network on Monday launched News18 Jammu/Kashmir/Ladakh/Himachal on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
India TV editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma conferred 'Most Influential Indian' award in London

Mumbai: On the eve of India’s 75th Independence, Rajat Sharma was identified and honoured as the "Most Influential Indian" at an event hosted by the British monarch at the top of London Bridge. Under the capable guidance of ELITE Magazine's managing director, Puraskar Thadani, who planned the event...

Television TV Shows Awards
I&B minister Anurag Thakur launches Bharat24

The union minister for information & broadcasting and sports & youth affairs Anurag Thakur, launched the new national Hindi news channel, The tagline of the channel is “Vision of new India!”

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Sun TV Q1 results: Revenue rises 47.38% to Rs 1,193.90 crore

Sun TV Network revenue increased by 47.38 per cent (including IPL) to Rs 1,193.90 crore in Q1 FY23, compared to Rs 810.10 crore in Q1 FY2022.

Television TV Channels Viewership