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News from our India correspondent, Amit Gurbaxani, on the country’s rapidly-developing internet adoption:

Among the factors that make India one of the world’s most exciting markets is that not only is it among the countries with the highest number of internet users on the globe, it also has plenty of scope for greater digital growth. According to the ‘Internet in India Report 2022’ published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar earlier this week, the nation’s internet penetration was 52% last year, with 759 million of its 1.4 billion-strong population going online at least once a month. Users in rural areas account for 399 million (53%) of that total and this segment rose faster, at 14%, compared to those in urban spots, which increased a mere 6% to 360 million (47%). However, internet penetration in rural India is 41% as opposed to 71% in the cities and towns.

The study estimates that India will be home to 900 million net users by the end of 2025 and that 56% of the 141 million new netizens will be from rural India. The figures have implications for the music industry, as the bulk of these fresh adopters are likely to consume music in their own language. Indian regional language music is already one of the fastest-growing segments for most DSPs but with consumers in different pockets coming online, there’s huge potential for tapping audiences for languages other than Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu, which are already prominent on the charts. For instance, the report mentions that internet penetration in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is just 32% and 38% respectively, indicating that the listenership of Bhojpuri music is likely to increase even further over the next few years.

The full report is free to download from the IAMAI website.

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