The number of active internet users in India is likely to grow nearly 45% to 900 million by 2025 compared to 622 million as of last year, said a study.
According to a research report by IAMAI-Kantar Cube, rural India may have a higher number of internet users compared to urban centres by 2025 which indicates the need to strengthen the digital ecosystem in the country.
The report says that the rural Internet population grew 13 percent in the last year, as against the 4 percent growth in urban India.
It also said the reach of the Internet in urban centres at 323 million users, accounting for 67% of the country’s total urban population, is over two times that of rural areas. Digital adoption in rural areas of the country registered an increase of 13%, recording 299 million internet users in 2020, accounting for 31% of the country’s rural population.
Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, executive vice president, Insights Division at Kantar Research, said, “The Indian market is expected to register a greater number of rural internet users than urban internet users by 2025. In line with this, the digital ecosystem would require capabilities to meet the particular demands of rural internet users. Key areas that are expected to emerge as a game-changer include Video, Voice and Vernacular.”
The report added that nine of ten active users access the Internet every day, and spend an average of 107 minutes on the Internet daily. Small towns account for two of five Internet users in India, while the top 9 metros account for 33% of the active Internet user base in the country.
About 96% of total internet users in the country access the internet for entertainment, while 90% use it for communication and 82% to access social media.
About 58% of active Internet users in India are male, and the remaining 42% are female. The ratio of active Internet user base remains the same in rural parts of the country.
According to the report, the key growth driver for internet growth in India rising use of ‘Mobile phones’, with citizens utilizing the Internet for communication, entertainment, and social media.
Digital Services have assumed great importance for India with the government actively promoting a vision of a USD 1 trillion digital economy.