March 16, 2011

India crosses 100M Internet users: Google

Google, which dominates the online advertising market in India, claims that the country now has over 100 million Internet users. That makes India the third largest Internet market in the world, behind China (600M) and USA (300M). Rajan Anandan, Google India head, speaking at the VC Circle E-Commerce Forum last week, also mentioned that the time an average user in India spends online is 16 hours per week, at par with the average time spent on television, which along with print are the leading advertising platforms in India.

Given the low PC penetration in India, but its dynamic and huge mobile market, the mobile phone would become the predominant Internet access point for users in India. Already, more than 40M Internet users in India go online on their mobile phones, per Google.

Google India has an important role to play in evangelizing Internet and pushing for a higher allocation of India's fast growing advertising market to the Internet. The company has already reached its growth limit in India with the size of the country's current online advertising market. More brand advertising needs to move online in India. It requires scalable premium advertising inventory, which would be fueled by more premium content moving to digital platforms. Advent of 3G on mobile phones and upcoming mobile broadband (LTE) launch by service providers should provide the necessary high-speed connectivity and access.