As per the statistics of Budde- Comm, an independent global telecommunications research and consultancy company, in 2010 almost a quarter of the global population accessed the Internet, which is a rise from around 5 per cent at the beginning of this decade. There are over 60 million internet users in India today. More growth is expected ahead as the Internet economy and mobile broadband continue to develop, particularly in the developing markets.
According to the Annual Internet Trends report by Morgan Stanley the coming decade is going to be all about the 10 Billion plus connected devices. A world will soon be a place where geographical boundaries no longer come in the way of seamless communication; not between human beings, but rather between devices.
The mobile phone is the device of choice in India. The mobile phone has not only replaced but surpassed the computer in every sense. The phone is the key to the cloud, where communication, entertainment and transactions take place seamlessly. Connected Devices are an example of how new tools can be used for entertainment and communication anywhere and everywhere.
With the introduction of so many platforms for easy consumption, content elements are increasingly becoming freed from the fading concept of web pages. We now have all our needs answered by our mobile phones and they will soon also move to devices. Smartphones which are already creating a buzz in the market, owing to their greater built-in functionality enhance user experience for both enterprise and entertainment.
The new platforms and devices will only help develop and power this digital trend. Today we live in a world where users can choose any device between computers, mobiles, tablets etc. User interface and experience becomes an imperative factor as does presentation.
Additionally, with more and more connectivity everywhere, streaming of content is getting easier and an easy choice for users. With the advent of 3G this consumption pattern is only set to grow. We see an opportunity area with applications, full length videos and better quality gaming for mobile, which is a vibrant and growing industry. Video in particular is becoming recognised as a powerful format for entertainment, communication and generally providing an enhanced online experience. There will be better and quicker streaming of music and videos providing a seamless experience to the user.
Services on demand are already a rage. The instant success and fast adoption of streaming services like music and entertainment sites is no coincidence. These services are fast, simple and offer a great user experience. We are finally at a stage where we can offer content legally and outsmart others in terms of quality of content, functionality and user experience is a big step in the right direction. Given that people are willing to pay for high-quality content that cannot be found through illegal channels, digitised content helps against piracy, which is a major revenue eating vice can be ruled out.
If 2009 was the Year of Twitter, 2010 was the year when social-media tools are treated as part of the fabric of the digital world. This paves way for the fact that publishers and marketers will use tools like Twitter and Facebook even more in the future to make their consumers’ experiences more social. More marketers will now look at social as an integral part of their digital strategy, rather than a stand-alone area for experimentation.
Lastly, a trend definitely set to revolutionise the vibrant gaming industry is the concept of ‘Social Gaming’, on both mobile as well as other platforms. 3G will only strengthen the gaming experience for consumers, therefore encouraging players to create and distribute a higher grade of mobile gaming. The future is all about connected gaming. As infrastructure and networks evolve is access to new technologies multiplayer gaming will become an important aspect of every game being launched in the market. On the numbers front all operators with a national footprint are focusing aggressively on adding new consumers. The base of mobile games should increase to 10 – 12 per cent of the mobile base over the next 2 yrs.
With faster data transfers, gamers will have the opportunity to play more advanced games on their handsets and other devices. With device manufacturers already on a roll there is tremendous scope for them to bring to us innovative devices and to raise the bar for the mobile gaming industry in India. As an industry we are already in a digital revolution where the consumer is the king and the day is not far when he can choose to access any forms of entertainment, images, videos, music as well as movies on any platform or device he wishes to. This is the power of Digital.