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Media content creation, access and consumption have gone through enormous changes in this second decade of the twenty-first century, globally as well as in India. We expect the shifts to be more dramatic over the next five years, through the end of 2020.

A Decade of Mobility: Mobile Media Consumption Today

Mobile will continue to be the primary medium of internet access: The number of unique users is important because not only does it give us the real untapped market for telecom, but, more importantly here, because it gives us the current addressable market for mobile data or internet access. At a penetration level of approximately 38% of the Indian population, the mobile user base has enough headroom to grow.
Smartphones: The Handsets Get Smart and Connected, but ‘Light’ Apps Will Still Rule: The success of apps and services in India depend significantly on their ability to run on feature-phones. Even with the shift to (mostly cheap Android) smartphones, successful apps and services will need the ability to run very ‘light’—using little memory and very little cellular data. This ‘run light and small’ are the big reason for Facebook and WhatsApp’s success in India.

India’s Killer Apps Are Messenger and Social Apps—not ‘Media Apps’

What drives mobile-phone users to mobile data for the first time? : For many low-income prepaid mobile users, the first experience of mobile data is WhatsApp to connect to friends and family, or to a peer group. For students, that first app is more likely to be Facebook, and many start by using it over free WiFi in their institute or university.
What are India’s top apps? : WhatsApp, UC Browser, Hotstar, Facebook, SHAREit, Messenger for Facebook, Cricbuzz, Wink, Gaana, Twitter.
How about branded media apps? : Some of the more popular media apps are Times of India, NDTV, Hindustan Times, BBC, but the only news app in the Top 100 is DailyHunt.
Organisations not yet ready for emerging platforms: Globally, youth have moved on in their choice of platforms with Instagram, Snapchat and Vine gaining popularity. India is behind this particular curve, largely due to the cost of mobile data as these apps are data heavy.
Community to Ecosystem: Social Media’s Next Wave: Online platforms are transitioning into complete communities or even ecosystems. This is particularly true for chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat where users can perform a variety of daily tasks within the app ecosystem.

Breaking the Access Frontier for M&E

Mobile data is expensive, so most users in India get by on cheap and small packs for WhatsApp or Facebook. There are two big disruptive possibilities, including the broadband rollout and public WiFi as part of the government’s Digital India campaign and the rollout of 4G, which are likely to resolve the access issues. Once quality digital infrastructure at cheap data costs reaches the masses, it’s clear that the overwhelming majority of media consumed by mobile users would be video and audio in the next few years.


Media and entertainment firms will face enormous challenges and disruptions, as well as opportunities, from technology in the half-decade ahead.
Nimbler tech-driven firms, who control the traffic, own the social platforms and buy out the tech that will disrupt media, are too often a step ahead. Large media firms tend to change more slowly.
Many traditional media firms don’t get tech, which moves so fast that by the time they’ve figured out the web, it’s changed; by the time they’ve built an app, it’s obsolete.
One answer is to have in senior management someone who will drive the technology direction of the media group: a CTO, or chief technology officer, role that is common in tech firms, and rare in media. Alternatively, the chief editor, business head or publisher would need to be tech savvy enough,
The role of the CTO or the Tech savvy business leader needs to be to look at future platform directions, technologies to use, and emerging opportunities.
A strategic focus on technology directions will be crucial for media and entertainment firms to survive and thrive in the connected, social, digital age.


1 KPMG in India’s analysis 2016 based on data collected from industry discussions
2 A milestone year for media, The Mint, 31 December 2015
3 Based on industry discussions
4 DAS Phase III stayed in 5 states including Maharashtra as Bombay HC issues restraining order, IndianTelevison, http://www.indiantelevision.com/cable-tv/das/das-phase-iii-stayed-in-5-statesincluding-maharashtra-as-bombay-hc-issues-restraining-order-160104 accessed on 15 February 2016
5 Industry discussion conducted by KPMG in India
6 RIO to form starting point for negotiations between broadcasters and platforms: TDSAT, TelevisionPost, http://www.televisionpost.com/trai-tdsat/rio-to-form-the-starting-point-for-negotiationsbetween-broadcasters-and-platforms-tdsat/ accessed on 19 March 2016
7 Based on industry discussions
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