MUMBAI: The so called digital divide between emerging markets like India and developed economies worldwide may not be that wide after all. A new online survey conducted by The Nielsen Company has found that while people in western countries tend to be heavy users of media hardware like DVD players and gaming consoles, next-generation devices like video-enabled handsets are more popular in the up-and-coming markets, particularly in Asia.
With the increasing penetration of internet in India, people are downloading and streaming their choice of movies and music from the internet. Music or other audio tracks/files are streamed and downloaded the most by Indians (66 and 63 per cent votes respectively), followed by music videos, which are streamed by 59 per cent and downloaded by 46 per cent of respondents.
Other media items that are streamed by respondents are movie trailers/ads (57 per cent), short video clips or individual/amateur clips (57 per cent), TV shows or clips from TV shows (46 per cent), full-length movies/ movie clips (42 per cent) and video games (32 per cent).
Media items downloaded from the internet include short video clips or individual/amateur clips (41 per cent), Full-length movies/ movie clips (40 per cent), Movie trailers/ ads (33 per cent), TV shows or clips from TV shows (30 per cent), and Video games (30 per cent).
As per the survey, 94 per cent of Indian consumers said that they have a television set and 82 per cent have a personal computer in their household. The usage of TV sets and personal computers is also high at 84 and 78 per cent respectively. The ownership and usage of CD and DVD players follow, 70 per cent own a CD player with 55 per cent usage and 65 per cent respondents own a DVD player with 49 per cent usage.
It is interesting to note that in an age of mobile gaming and internet access through mobile phones, the number of Indian respondents who had a non video or web-enabled mobile (67 per cent) in their household was greater compared to the respondents who had a video-enabled or web-enabled mobile (36 per cent) in their household. Portable music devices are also quite popular with 37 per cent of respondents owning one. When it comes to video games, a console video game system is owned by more people than handheld video game system (9 and 7 per cent respectively). Indians also prefer movies and music more than computer games. 63 per cent of people surveyed claimed to have bought a DVD personally in the past six months and 59 per cent bought new music CDs, compared to 37 per cent who bought computer games.
"Riding on the back of Bollywood, movies and music are always an integral part of Indians’ media consumption. The video games market in India has been growing steadily but it still has to catch on with the masses and remains a niche market at present, with most gamers concentrated in urban areas," said The Nielsen Company associate director, client solutions Vatsala Pant.
Average time spent
It was found that 85 per cent Indian respondents spent at least some time in an average week listening to music on a computer, portable device or mobile device. 75 per cent listened to music on CDs, and 63 per cent respondents watched streamed or downloaded movies on a computer or portable phone/device.
Playing video games on a computer or portable phone device is preferred over playing video games on a games console or handheld video game system. 59 per cent respondents spent at least some time playing video games on a computer or portable phone device and 27 per cent spent time in an average week playing games on a games console or handheld video game system.
"Console games have not yet been established on a large scale in India and personal computer games are still preferred by the majority of Indians", said Pant.
Preference in video games
With 34 per cent of votes, Action/Adventure games are played by a maximum number of respondents, this is also the seventh highest per centage globally for people playing action/adventure games, followed by Casual games (32 per cent). Other video games which appeared in the top ten globally are Sports games (29 per cent- fifth highest globally), Shooter games (28 per cent- fourth highest globally), Vehicle games (28 per cent- fifth highest globally), and Fighting games (13 per cent- sixth highest globally).
When asked about video games played on personal computers or a mobile device, 60 per cent of respondents said that they had played free games that came with their computer, 47 per cent had played free online games, 21 per cent played games downloaded for a fee or purchased from a retail store, and seven per cent respondents had played games requiring a subscription fee.