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Monday, September 18, 2006

NRS 2006 - The Indian Media Pyramid

NRS 2006 survey results came out a few weeks back. This is a survey of over 2.84 lakh individuals that measures media exposure in India. The sheer scale of the sample makes this one of the most comprehensive and insightful studies on the Indian consumer. Here's the 'Indian media pyramid', that mirrors the Indian consumer pyramid:

  1. NRS survey universe (Indians aged 12 & above) - 815 mn
  2. Literate - 580 mn (71% of above)
  3. TV watchers/ Radio listeners/ Press readers - 230/ 230/ 222 mn respectively
  4. FM radio - 119 mn
  5. Magazines - 68 mn
  6. Cinema (once a month) - 39 mn
  7. Mobile VAS users - 22mn (I suspect that this figure is a lot higher now, as the survey mentions that 38% of cellphone owners use VAS implying a # closer to 50 mn)
  8. English dailies - 21 mn
  9. Internet (once a week access) - 9.4 mn
A few observations:
  • Media exposure seems to cap out ~250 mn or ~30% (this # isnt precise, since exact superset of TV/radio/press isnt mentioned). That still leaves 330 mn Indians in the literate-but-dont-read bucket. I wonder if our definition of literacy is rather generous.
  • English daily readership has been stagnant at 21 mn and makes me realize how small the 'People Like Us' segment really is. I also worry about our BPO sector that is estimated to have 1 mn people by 2008. By the time we apply an age-filter and a quality-filter to the English speaking universe (of which English daily readership appears to be an indicative proxy), the math to get to 1 mn seems touch-and-go.
  • The FM and mobile VAS numbers show highest growth (55% and 145% respectively). There's some overlap as a lot of FM listening happens on cellphones (with a base of under 7 mn cars, the 'People Like Us' segment that listens to FM in cars is a fraction of the total listenership).
  • The mobile VAS numbers are misleading from a 'media' viewpoint, since this is about P2P communication (SMS) and personalization (ringtone, ringback tone), as opposed to information/entertainment that traditional media offers. I dont think advertisers should be whipping out their checkbooks on this one just yet.
  • The internet numbers are consistent with my earlier guesstimate, and much lower than the frequently quoted 38 mn. The English daily readership is indicative of how far internet in its current form can go, without significant inroads into vernacular content and reduction in bandwidth/PC costs.


At 10:58 AM, Blogger kochuthresiamma p .j said...

it would be interesting to make a qualtative research on the nature of English literate viewers and readers. If we go by the content of the English channels and print media, this category seems to be a very superficial one, with an insatiable craving for sensationalism.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anand,

Pretty insightful coverage of NRS.

Thanks& Rgds

Ravi Udeshi

At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would argue that the way to look at this situation is as the potential for smart capital to *train & employ* the super abundant human resources, and create value out of that employment. Dumb capital (as in a lot of foriegn capital that is pouring in) lusts after and overpays for "instant talent".

That is the real Indian story. Trillions will be made over the next few decades by those who realize this. Simply applying western models will not earn a good return.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small markets? Try selling software in a 6 million person country with one language which does not remotely resemble any other indo-european language, where everyone speaks English with a 100% literacy but you can't sell anything to them in English, Finland.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jayesh said...

Hi.. Is there a way to research the internet users and VAS users further? As far as internet goes, 9.4 mn seems really low. Total internet accounts are around 5 mn. Plus there are atleast 2 mn cybercafe PCs. Plus there are atleast 5 mn corporate PCs... So thats a gross underestimation. In fact I have been using NRS for 4 yrs and have been skeptical of their internet based questions.

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