Most Internet users avail of OTT services; 53% of them from rural areas: Report

Most Internet users avail of OTT services; 53% of them from rural areas: Report
Source: Pixabay
Mumbai, As many as 86 per cent of Internet users enjoy OTT (Over The Top) audio and video services, more than half of them from the hinterlands, making it the top use-case for Internet in the country, according to an industry report. The rise of digital entertainment services have been bolstered by the rise of smart TV, smart speakers, firesticks, chromecasts, growing at 58 per cent from 2021 to 2023 as more people are accessing video content over Internet-only devices (208 million) than conventional linear TV (181 million), said a report by the Internet and Mobile Association and the marketing data and analytics company Kantar.

The report also finds that rural users are driving all these use-cases, accounting for more than 50 percent of the user base.

The report, based on the inputs from over 90,000 households across all the states and Union Territories, barring Lakshadweep, was released at the ongoing India Digital Summit 2024.

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The second and third most popular use-cases of the Internet are communications with 621 million users, and social media with 575 million users.

There were over 823 million active Internet users in the country as of 2023, meaning more than 55 per cent of people in the country have used the Internet last year, which is a modest 8 per cent growth over the previous year.


At 442 million, rural users are in a majority, accounting for over 53 per cent of the total user base.

From a gender perspective, the male-female ratio of Internet users rose from 71:29 in 2015 to 54:46 in 2023, which is almost at par with the overall sex ratio of the addressable population in the country, says the report.

However, the report finds that net adoption growth rate has been decelerating with rural market, which has been driving Internet growth rates for the past many years, slowing down by 11 per cent in 2023 over 2022, pulling down the overall growth rate to 8 per cent.

The report further said 57 per cent users prefer to access content in their local languages, with Tamil, Telegu, and Malayalam having the strongest language preference for content.

States with the lowest Internet user base have the fastest growth rates now with Jharkhand (46 per cent penetration) and Bihar (37 per cent penetration) showing above average growth rates of 12 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively.