Digital Media in India

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India Infograph.jpg

Digital Literacy in India

Internet Penetration in India

India Internet Penetration.png
The number of active internet users in India grew with 28% in comparison with last year, reaching 65 million in 2011.[1] Regular internet users are 61 million and India is the second fastest growing presence on Facebook with almost 2 million people only in the last year. [2]

Having seen the number of Internet users double over the past five years, this Asian giant has come a long way, considering the fact that there were just 1,000 Internet users in 1992.[3]Currently ranked #3 in terms of the number of Internet users (behind China and the US), there is plenty of room for growth since current penetration levels are equivalent to just 8,4% of the total population.[4]

Internet User Profiling

By Age

Youths are driving Internet growth in India – Of the total Internet usage in India in 2009, 44% and 28% can be attributed to school and college students and young men, respectively. Overall, 75% of all youths in India access the Internet on a regular basis. On the other hand, the older generation seems to prefer traditional media to new media.[5]

By Geographic Location

Users from urban India contributed the majority of Internet usage in 2011 (49.96 millions) despite the fact that the rural internet use is growing (16.10 millions).[6]


By Location

Internet access has grown in comparison with last year, from all places.

Home is the largest place of access (58%) and the most preferred by the Indian population. Internet reaches 29 million Indian households, which means 11.3% of all Indian households and 5.4 of all Indians.[7]

A high number of Internet users still access the web from cyber cafes, especially in the rural area. The news of 2011 have seen an increase of internet mobile use though only 1 in 4 internet users use only mobile phones as 8 out of 10 mobile internet users are ‘dual users’ using both PC and mobile.[8]

India Internet User Profiling.png

Common Uses of the Internet

Uses of Internet in India.png

Just as in 2009, most Internet users access the web to check their e-mail (87% in 2009, 95% in 2011) or search for general information.[9] With an added emphasis on global learning, there is an increasing trend of users searching for education-related information. This is supported by the fact that the youth is driving Internet usage today. Another emphasis can be seen on searching or buying travel products and paying bills online, both registering a growth of more than 20% in comparison with the previous year. While accessing e-mails and searching for information remain the top uses of the Internet in India, 2010 saw a significant jump in Internet users viewing videos and searching for songs – 72% of the total active online population in India watched videos online with YouTube serving as the most popular viewing source.[10] This lead to a decrease in downloading music (-3%) as the online music channels are easily to reach.

ICT Infrastructure

Ranked 118 out of 154 in terms of its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) development status, India has a long way to go before the benefits of the Internet can be fully realized.[11] Despite its status as a global IT hub, a majority of Indians have yet to even gain access to fixed telephone lines, a basic necessity to gain Internet access.

In 2004, the Indian Government launched the National Broadband Policy which aimed to establish at least 20 million broadband connections that would serve as a huge boost to the current ICT infrastructure.[12] The broadband infrastructure has developed significantly, considering the fact that in September 2010, there were 10.3 million broadband connections versus the 2005 figure of 0.18 million.[13] However, the growth and implementation of this policy has slowed down significantly. More than 60% of broadband subscribers stem from the top 8 cities in India, but considering that this population just represents 34% of Internet usage in India, it is important that content providers ensure that information can be accessed via regular Internet services such as dial-up modems and mobile Internet (where speeds are not so high as compared to broadband Internet).[14]

In March 2011, were nearly 19.67 million Internet subscribers, a yearly growth of 21.59 % in comparison with March 2010, while broadband users were up to 11.89 million, March 2011. (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Internet Penetration in India 2011 Report, - - retrieved 18 October 2011) Moreover, decisions are taken in order to improve the mobile wireless broadband service, the Advanced Mobile Wireless Broadband Services as the consultation of major stakeholders.[15]

Mobile Penetration in India

The mobile industry in India has grown dramatically. Just 10 years ago, the concept of owning a mobile phone may have been considered a luxury to the majority of middle and lower-income Indian citizens. Today, the mobile phone has come be known as a necessity – so much so that many homes do not have a fixed telephone line but have a number of mobile phones belonging to each family member.[16]

The Numbers Game

5: The number of minutes between mobile handset purchases on e-Bay India

20: The number of new mobile users (in millions of course!) who join the telecom bandwagon every month

70: The percentage of the Indian mobile market that only consumes voice services

75: The percentage of mobile internet users between the ages of 20 to 30

Mobile Internet Usage

At the moment India ranks second in the world in terms of mobile internet usage with 35 million users. The number of mobile internet users has grown 5 times in the last 5 years and according to the consulting firm McKinsey, the number of India's internet users should grow another 5 times by 2015. Three-quarters of this population will be consuming internet over mobile. [17]

Mobile internet is mainly used for:

Browsing – mostly WAP, significant “internal” content, downloads, true internet browsing Email – Blackberry, others Instant messaging Downloadable apps Payment Banking

Currently all these services are offered as value added services which service providers use to differentiate themselves but they will soon start becoming standard services much like they are in other parts of the world like Singapore.

Nokia remains the dominant choice for web browsing, although smartphone browsers such as Blackberry and Safari for iPhone are gaining in popularity. Access to smartphones is restricted to the wealthy classes due to the price but should start becoming more accessible to the general public as mobile service providers offer cheaper plans in the future. [18]


Some of the main trends driving the adoption of mobile include fragmented ISP services, with little or no reach to villages and small industrial towns, market saturation of mobile services in urban areas leading to service providers seeking demand from non-urban settings, introduction of cheap 3G enabled handsets, cheap 3G plans provided by mobile service providers and the fact that almost all websites and web services now support mobile browsers.

Mobile Internet User Profiling

By Age

Synonymous with the use of Internet, 75% of mobile Internet users are aged between 20-30 while school and college going students (aged 24 and below) formed 66% of mobile Internet usage. Mobile Internet is not popular among those aged above 35 – only 5% of mobile Internet users were above the concerned age limit.

By Gender

89% of mobile Internet users were male. While this figure may be significantly larger than the percentage of females, it is important to acknowledge that in most parts of India, specifically rural towns and villages, cultural practices prevent females from having the opportunity to access the web. In addition, the level of disposable income in these areas may not allow mobile subscribers to purchase phones that allow access to the Internet.

By Mobile Handset Brands

In 2010, Nokia remained the most popular handset brand that was used for web surfing, generating 42.2% of mobile Internet traffic. Their status as the leading handset brand however remains uncertain as more Indians prefer to hold onto smartphones, a segment where Nokia handsets are not doing so well in – a significant number of Indians are shifting to Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry devices which contributed a total of 21.5% of mobile Internet traffic.[19]

India Mobile Internet User Profiling.png

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Digital Media Platforms


India State of the Blogosphere.jpg

Popular Indian bloggers Renie Ravin, founder of, and Gaurav Mishra came up with the useful chart above to highlight the “State of the Indian Blogosphere” in May 2009.

The chart gives an idea of how popular blogs are in India , and is based on the 7895 blogs that were registered on[20]

Social Networking Sites


ComScore Social Networking Ranking July 2010.png

Facebook Logo.png

After a long ongoing battle with Orkut, Facebook overtook its competitor to become the top social networking site in India. As of March 2011, comScore research reports 31.6 million unique vistors a month from India to Facebook. India has experienced the fastest growth in Facebook use over the past year, increasing in market share of 88% in August 2011 compared to August 2010. Still, the population penetration of Facebook in India is only 3%.[21]

According to the results of an analysis by Experian Hitwise, the average session time on Faceook in August 2011 within India is 20 mins 21 sec. This average session time is expected to grow as more users within India connect with more people on Facebook, hence brands should not ignore Facebook as a marketing platform.[22]

Orkut Logo.jpg

Google’s Orkut was the number one Indian social networking platform between 2005 to July 2010. Although Facebook has taken over the lead, Orkut remains a dominant player in the market,with a continually diminishing user base. As of March 2011, the total number of unique visitors 15.2 million, down from 19.9 million unique users in July 2010.[23]

India is an important market for Orkut, as the users represent approximately 20% of the total worldwide user base of the social networking site.[24] Orkut has been observed to be more popular in “Tier 2 and 3” cities, which are the smaller ones compared to the metropolitan cities such as Mumbai. Facebook on the other hand has been the choice of users in the metropolitan cities.

LinkedIn Logo.png

This professional networking site is enjoyed in India for the purposes of Hiring and Professional Networking. LinkedIn has 12 million users in India, which is the second largest number of users in a country behind the United States. This is a percentage penetration of 1.02%.[25]

Ibibo Logo.gif

Ibibo is an Indian social network that has focuses on social gaming and E-commerce platforms. It has about 5 million users in India, and has established itself as a key player in the social networking scene in India. It however lags behind Orkut and Facebook.

Twitter Logo.png

Currently with about 4.5 million users in India, Twitter is spreading in popularity at a rapid rate just like in the rest of the world. Politicians, Bollywood actors & actresses, sportspeople, and other prominent Indians have joined the community.

Online and Mobile Asymmetry

It is projected that the number of mobile social networking Indians was expected to reach 72 million by 2014.[26]

One would expect mobile social networking behaviour to mirror that of online behaviour, but that theory definitely does not hold in the Indian market. According to mobile analytics company Informate, RockeTalk is the most widely used mobile social networking application in India. It is an application that allows users to create any combination of text, voice, photo and video messages and share them with contacts and communities. After RockeTalk, Orkut is second, followed by Qeep, Facebook and Twitter.[27]

Notable Statistics

  • The non-metro cities contribute to 60% of social networking traffic. However, the metropolitan city Mumbai still accounts for the most social networking traffic.
  • Social networking sites are most actively used by the age group 15-24. LinkedIn however is actively used by the age group 25-34 ; graduates looking for jobs.
  • 60% of users of the Internet in India use Social media.
  • The most popular time for use of social media is 6pm-10pm , ie. not during work hours. This bit of information could be useful for a social media marketing campaign.
  • The maximum users come from the ‘less than 2 lakhs p.a.’ income category. This is because social networks are primarily driven by the youth.[28]

Search Engines

India Top Search Engines.JPG

Google Sites ranked as the top search engine in India with more than 1 billion searches conducted in June, representing 81 percent of the market. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 9.4 percent, followed by Ask Network (1.9 percent) and Microsoft Sites (1.7 percent). Indian Internet portal Rediff ranked fifth with 1.5 percent.[29]

The above findings by comScore suggest that the most popular search engines in India are international brands, as observed by the executive vice president of comScore. “The Indian search market is dominated by global Internet brands, with Google attracting the wide majority of searches,” said Jack Flanagan, comScore executive vice president. “As the top local player in the search market, Indian web portal attracts slightly less than 2 percent of all searches, indicating that there is substantial room for growth among the local Internet brands.”

Traditional Media Platforms


Television first came to India in the form of Doordarshan (DD) on Sept 15, 1959. It is the National Television Network of India and is also one of the largest broadcasting organizations in the world. With the emergence of several Indian private broadcasters and the introduction of international satellite services, the television industry has developed significantly. In fact, over the last 10 years, the industry has witnessed a tremendous expansion where there are currently 515 channels available via cable – with more than 30 news channels in almost all of the 22 official languages in India.[30][31]

As of June 2010, about 60% of Indian households possess a television, an increase from less than a third in 2001; of the 134 million households with television, 103 million have access to Cable or Satellite television.[32] The major players in the television industry are:

The Direct-to-Home (DTH) digital market is expanding quickly and is estimated to be accessed by at least 23.77 million households.[33] India is slated to take over the United States as the world’s largest DTH market by 2012. The average time spent by viewers in India is estimated to be about 145 minutes/day, while more time is spent watching channels in digital homes. Once the DTH market achieves critical mass, niche broadcasters will be in a stronger position to capitalize on the upmarket viewers through advertising and marketing channels.

While cable television remains a favourite medium of entertainment, the business is beginning to see the use of the Internet as a means of transmitting information – While Internet Protocol Television has yet to make an impact on the Indian market, IPTV is set to expand as broadband penetration is expected to grow in the future

Television remains the favourite medium of advertising by businesses, according to the Webchutney Digital Media Outlook 2010 report.[34] In 2009-2010, television accounted for 45% of the total advertising expenditure in India. However, the popularity of television as a preferred medium for advertising has begun to decline as marketers begin to shift their focus onto online advertising (which grew 66% in 2009). As online advertising remains a small fraction of the advertising business, television remains an important medium that businesses utilize.


Thanks to the increasing popularity of online news, the printed press industry has seen a general global decline, particularly in Europe and the United States. Yet in India, the industry is booming due to rising literacy rates and increasing advertising expenditure. Since 2008, India has emerged as the largest newspaper market in the world, boasting a readership base of 350 million. India is also home to 20 of the 100 largest newspapers in the world. There are currently more than 74,000 newspapers available in circulation in India, with more expected to emerge. The most circulated and most-read dailies in India are the Times of India (an English newspaper) and Dainik Jagaran (a Hindi newspaper).

The growing number of non-English press indicates the broadening appeal of newspapers in India. For example, the number of Hindi newspapers available has risen from less than 8 million in the 1990s, to more than 25 million today. There are now at least 3,200 newspapers published in Hindi, more than 3 times that of English papers available.

The newspaper’s importance in India may be due to the fact that it is relatively free from competition despite the rise of the Internet. Though there are a large number of households who own television sets, there are still many more without. Newspapers are highly affordable and are the more accessible alternative, even for rural areas. Moreover, it is not dependent on other factors such as infrastructure or available of electricity, which are both areas that are lacking in India.[35][36][37][38][39]

While online news is increasingly becoming popular among the Indians today, the current level of Internet penetration is currently too low for print media to lose its standing in the Indian market.[40] Hence, the newspaper industry in India will continue to grow at an estimated rate of 9% a year in the short and medium run.[41]There was an estimated gain in newspaper readership 10% in 2011.[42]

After television, print is the second most-favoured medium by businesses for advertising. 38% of the total advertising expenditure is occupied by the print industry in 2010.


Radio broadcasting in India first began in 1935 with All India Radio. The industry did not see much growth till 1999 when private firms were allowed to participate in this mass media industry. Radio has since come along way, generating US$49.5 million of revenues in 2009. This figure is however expected to grow exponentially at a rate of 20% a year.

With a reach of 56%, radio is a indeed a very important medium in India. There are 248 FM radio stations owned by 40 broadcasters of which the most popular station is Radio Mirchi.[43] In terms of attention spans, 51% of listeners tune in to the radio for an average time of one hour a day while 39% tune in for one-three hours. Audience impact is highest on weekdays and lowest on Sundays.

The radio advertising industry is expected to grow at a cumulative rate of 12.2% to hit a value of US$342 million in 2014. For more information on how to optimize an advertisement’s reach on the radio, refer to Madison’s Media Research’s suggestions.[44][45][46]

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Impacts of Digital Media


The growth in digital media has given businesses another viable and cost-effective channel by which they can connect with their target audience.

Digital Marketing

Two key drivers of the digital marketing scene in India are the rapid growth in online social network users and the rising popularity and viability of mobile marketing.

  • Rapid Growth in Online Social Network Users
India has seen a wide jump in the number of users on the various online social networks, increasing 43% to approximately 33 million unique users from the start of 2009 to July 2010.[47] What this means for marketers is that online social networks are increasingly becoming tools to consider in order to maximize the reach of brands or businesses.
  • Mobile Marketing

With the tremendous increase in digital advertising, mobile advertising too has seen some remarkable growth.

Advantages: - User location targeting - Multiple touch points with the consumer - Knowledge of consumer usage and trends - One-to- one nature - Trusted billing relationship - Direct user response

India is now the single largest mobile ad impression market in the Asia Pacific Region. It saw a 22% increase over the 3 month period. The country reached its highest level of traffic in May 2011, with 2.6 billion ads being served to 59.4 million users on all platforms. BuzzCity attributes this growth to the falling data rates, availability of cheaper handsets, heavy promotion of mobile internet and better content on mobile.

“India has a great scope for mobile advertising. In the last few years India has given has great revenue. Mobile advertising is no longer dominated by a handful of markets.Mobile internet advertising is now a pervasive force for marketers to spread their message, build brands and transact – a medium that we cannot afford to ignore. Also, an important fact that brand managers need to take into consideration is that feature based phones and not smartphones dominate mobile internet usage,” says Dr. K. F. Lai, CEO, BuzzCity.

Smartphones still have a very small percentage of these impressions. Android and iOS combined have a share of 0.4%.[48]

Social Gaming

At present, of over 12 million Indians on Facebook, about 7 million reportedly play social games. Globally, at least half of the 500 million Facebook users are likely to pick up on social games within two years. With the advent of affordable and high-end smart-phones, mobile and social gaming have already started creating noticeable ripples with India’s mobile gaming industry standing at Rs 541 crore, which is 4.56 per cent of the total VAS revenue of Rs 11,860 crore, according to a report in Hindustan Times.


Search engine optimization is definitely important for marketers or communicators to maximize their website’s viewership. However, optimization poses a problem in a country like India which has 22 official languages spread over 28 different states. Hindi is the main official language, while English is the secondary one, not to mention many other regional languages which are used. Marketers whose target audience is in India will have to pay close attention to the languages spoken by their specific consumer group(s) and decide how they want to perform SEO for their digital media.

According to Shiv Moulee of Millward Brown India, only one advertisement out of seven performs strongly across all Indian markets, and among advertisements that do exceptionally well in one market, more than a third perform very poorly in others. This goes to show the differences in consumer attitudes among the different areas of India.[49]

List of Mobile Advertising Networks in India

Admob AdiQuity BuzzCity InMobi Microsoft MobiAdz MobiSolv NAVTEQ Media Networkplay SpotOn Vdopia vServ ZestAdz


Quit India Movement Website

Although the use of digital media for social change is not yet a popular concept in India, the effectiveness seen in the following examples show that there is indeed potential for social marketers or social movements to tap on the growth of social media tools in India to further their causes.

Quit India Movement

A joint initiative between the Times of India Response and Nicorette, the Quit India Movement champions a tobacco free India. Their website is targeted at smokers looking to quit and people who are passionate for the cause. People have the option of adopting smokers and seeing them through the quitting process. Smokers can also create a quitting calendar to plan their quitting programme. As of 11 March 2011, a total of 128 smokers have been adopted by 114 adopters.

Quit India Movement also has presence on popular social media channels, namely Facebook and Twitter, with 3,621 people liking their Facebook page.

Jan Lokpal Bill On 15 August 2011 Anna Hazare had over 500,000 mentions through status updates and comments across top social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Two days later, the number had shot up to 9 million, according to Vangal Software and Services, a company that analizes trends on social networking sites.

Anna was among the top 10 most-searched terms on Google from August 15-18. Anna logged 1.64 crore Google results while Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan trailed at 1.38 crore. On YouTube, over 40,000 people watched the video shot by Kiran Bedi inside Tihar Jail in which Anna has addressed his supporters. Facebook has 542 fan pages by Anna's name.[50]


Citizens have tapped on digital media to increase the transparency in government elections, as seen in the following examples. These have allowed users to make more informed decisions.

Transparency in Elections

2009 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India, which has the power to pass motions of no confidence in the government and introduce money bills, among others. As this body is one that is very powerful, it is important for the election process to be transparent to mitigate chances of corruption. During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, there was a 2009 Lok Sabha Elections landing page which was a partnership between Google, Hindustan Times and five other organizations that provided real-time information to voters on election news, MP profiles, quotes from candidates and polling booth venues. This website also tapped on Google Maps, allowing users to search for information specific to their constituencies.

Their Orkut community called Voice of Youth had 747 members served as an outlet for youths in India to voice their opinions about the elections. Election videos posted on YouTube were also collected and streamed on iStream to provide a one-stop page for interested parties to source for more information. Twitter was also used, with users using the hashtag #IndiaVotes09 in all their tweets related to the elections.

Vote Report India

Another platform was Vote Report India, which was a collaborative election monitoring platform which allowed users to contribute SMS, e-mail and web reports on violations of the Election Commission Model Code of Conduct during the 2009 Indian general elections. It was set up to increase transparency and accountability and to tackle the problem of information asymmetry, thus allowing users to make a more informed choice.

Transparency in India's Elections

Government Outreach

Indian Diplomacy on Twitter

The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs set up an official Twitter account @IndianDiplomacy to provide quick updates to their followers (6,868 as of 11 March 2011).

Politicians and Social Media

Many politicians have realized that the best way to connect with their young supporters is through the use of social media. It is therefore of no surprise that politicians, both young and old, have been active on numerous platforms. Of the various platforms that are available, Twitter seems to be the most popular, followed by Facebook and individual blogs. Some eminent Indian politicians using social media include:

Name of Politician Platform used
Mr. Shashi Tharoor, former UN Under-secretary General and most followed politician Twitter: @ShashiTharoor
Mr. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat Twitter: @narendramodi
Mr. L.K Advani, Current leader of the opposition in “Lok Sabha” (Lower Parliament) Blog:


Invest India

Invest India is an online portal providing information, guidelines, event details, joint venture opportunities, studies and surveys of the Indian economy. It aims to promote foreign investments in India, thus contributing to the economy.

Invest India Website


There are rules that indirectly allow the Indian government to control content that is published on the Internet. If users have infringed any of the stated rules on their website, that site will be blocked through the control of ISPs. For more information please follow the link here: Social Media Framework.

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Content Regulation by Government

Rules were issued by the country’s Department of Information Technology in April, restricting web content. These allow officials and private citizens to demand that Internet sites and service providers remove content they consider objectionable on the basis of a long list of criteria. Objectionable content includes anything that “threatens the unity, integrity, defense, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order.” Require Internet “intermediaries” to respond to any demand to take down offensive content within 36 hours. The rules do not provide a way for content producers to defend their work or appeal a decision to take content down. The rules are based on a 2008 information technology law. That law, among other things, granted authorities more expansive powers to monitor electronic communications for reasons of national security. It also granted privacy protections to consumers.[51]

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7 Steps to a Highly Successful Social Media Campaign

A combination of strategy, creative thinking, technology, content creation and content aggregation capabilities are essential to launch a successful social media campaign. Having a well planned and executed social media marketing campaign can improve a firm’s corporate image and drive interest surrounding a particular product or activity.

According to Anurag Gupta, here are 7 steps to a successful social media campaign:

  1. The campaign has to be owned by the marketing team of the advertiser as a must do project (IT or PR department to have a joint interest and sponsorship).
  2. A project manager responsible to develop and execute the campaign.
  3. Advertiser should hire a specialized social media marketing agency which can bring perspective on technology & user engagement.
  4. The specialized social media marketing agency should be made to work closely with the advertiser’s creative agency to bring about brand understanding to the table.
  5. Advertiser should insist on a proper content team to be deployed by the specialized agency.
  6. Detailed work and budgeting plan should be made for content development and maintenance
  7. Advertiser should not be averse to spending media monies to get users to sign up as fans, i.e. advertiser should plan to allocate budget to utilize search engine optimization techniques .

Do note that in the Internet world, things are changing very rapidly; User habits & preferences change very rapidly in this new world order. Therefore, we must be receptive and open to redesigning our social media strategy and retain what works. In India for example, Orkut was a rage before Facebook came in, and the social media users in India quickly migrated to Facebook which had more functionality, features and was considered to be more happening! Indeed, Facebook got its formula right from the beginning since it allowed application developers and even brands to plug onto its platform to develop customized applications. Ease of use and cost effectiveness propels many aspiring firms to use Facebook as their marketing launching pad and to reach out to global audience. All these only made Orkut seem like a poor cousin and now it has lost its sheen amongst lot of urban internet users. Individuals and businesses need to be totally wired in to the changing preferences on internet users if they want to leverage the power of not only social media but Internet per se.[52]

Top 5 Recommended Advertising Firms

According to an independent blog, here are the top 5 recommended advertising agencies in India.[53]

Ogilvy & Mather

Ogilvy & Mather is an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency based in Manhattan and owned by the WPP Group. The company operates 497 offices in 125 countries with approximately 16,000 employees, with its Indian operation centre—Ogilvy Advertising—in Mumbai. Ogilvy & Mather is the creative team behind India’s most successful and renowned brands such as Hutch - Vodafone, Cadbury, Asian Paints and Fevicol.


JWT (also known as J Walter Thompson) is one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States and the fourth-biggest in the world. The firm was set up in 1864 and even today, continues to create, innovate and define the world of communication in India. JWT was involved in helping various global renowned firms such as Nestle, Cadbury, Bayer, Ford, Nokia and Unilever in advertising. Among its several accolades, JWT was also awarded the “Grand Prix” prize at the 2008 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for the “Lead India” campaign.

Mudra Communication

Mumbai-based Mudra Communication Mudra Communications Pvt. Ltd. operates as a marketing communications agency. Mudra Communications Pvt. Ltd. was founded in 1980 and is based in Mumbai, India. The firm offers advertising, brand strategy and design consulting, localization and pre-media, as well as strategic planning, brand management, and creative services. The company provides services through radio, activation, online, film, and print modes.

FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd

FCB Ulka Advertising Ltd was incepted in 1961 and the firm has always been to create advertising that is noticeable and that is most relevant to the buyer, not the seller. Some of FCB Ulka’s successful ads include Tata Indicom, Whirlpool, Zee Cinema, Santoor, Sunfeast and Amul, among others. FCB Ulka is considered as a turnaround specialist that indulges in more than just brand building.

Rediffusion DY & R

Rediffusion DY & R operates as an advertising agency in India. The company was founded in 1973 and is based in Mumbai, India. It focuses primarily on integrated PR services and media relations.

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Hear from the Experts

To glean some insights into the digital media scene in India, what better way than to hear from these two experts?

Onir, Director & Producer of I AM -India's First crowdsourced film

"Back in 2005, it was just friends and family getting together, we made it ourselves" He said, as he shared with us how difficult it was to get financing for the movie in 2005. Now, with I AM he thought " Why not increase the map of our friends?" He admits, that it was a rather impulsive decision taken by him and his business partner, Sanjay Suri. They had no experience in crowdsourcing, nor had it been done before in Bollywood for them to take inspiration from.

So he hoped for the best and put up a status update on Facebook, explaining his idea. He tells us about three kinds of people who were interested:

  • People who identified with the stories
  • People who are interested in the film making process
  • People who just wanted to see their names in the credits

"On Twitter, people are not great listeners. Facebook is much more there. Twitter is like 2 min noodles or television advertisements" He kept people informed about the whole process on facebook and engaged his audience to the most.

It was not just the money.They crowdsourced a lot of talent for the crew, starting from music directors, stylists, linguists for subtitling as well as assistant directors for the film.

What about the risks of plagiarism? What were the difficulties he faced and how would he change things as he looks back in hindsight?

We have the answers and more. Through our candid conversation with Onir, on the changing landscape of cinema with social media, learn about the many evils of tinsel town as well as traditional media. As he rightly puts it: ""Suddenly In india the definition of cinema is just Popcorn. If you do not get a certain amount of collections by the third week of the release, you are thrown out of the cinemas.Through Social media you are empowered with reaching an audience without a corrupt media."

So listen to our podcast with Onir, as he reflects on a rather interesting journey with I AM

Sanjay Suri, Producer of I AM - India's First Crowdsourced Film

"We had about 400 co-producers after interacting with 10000 people" Sanjay Suri, talks to INDigiMedia about his journey as a producer for I AM.

We all know of him as one of the most versatile actors in Indian cinema. Not many of us know of his producer side. Yes, Sanjay Suri not only acted in I AM - India's first crowdsourced film, but also co-produced it with Onir.

Through this chat, he shares his views on privacy on social media and how he balances his offline and online identities and walks us through his journey as a producer for I AM. "The consumption [of information] on Twitter is more impulse based, It virals very fast but is also kind of short lived." He puts forth his views of marketing on Facebook where people read more, as they access it mostly from their laptops. They can find out the legitimacy of the project on reading the updates in more detail. "Twitter was great later, for promoting the film" - He tells us about the various strategies they used to pull people into the project.

When we asked him of his perspective of risks of plagiarism, he was quick to add, "We only gave out the subjects, not the storyline, we never revealed too much information about the script on social media"As Onir mentions in our last podcast, distribution was one of the biggest hurdles to cross for making I AM a hit. We heard the Director's perspective, now lets look at the producer's perspective on crowsourcing.

"Unfortunately distribution is still very traditional. The opportunity costs of distributing in non-traditional ways were high. So we had to take the traditional route" Would he have done anything differently, now that he looks back ? "We ideally would have liked to have our co-producers to be the champions for our marketing on social media" - as he refers to the power of weak ties. He also enlightens us on some essential new media tools that can make the nightmare of distribution a little easier.

Thinking of crowdsourcing yet? Listen to our podcast, for the inside story of how I AM came to be -

Kriti Sachdeva, PETA India

How do NGOs tell their stories? How do these stories become viral? How does social media help them? We had a short and sweet chat with Kriti Sachdeva, Online Marketing Coordinator, PETA India. Our Lettuce Lady ( see pic below ) discusses how social media helps NGOs garner support for their campaigns.

What motivates thousands of people to collaborate over one post on Facebook? What was PETA's most successful campaign online?

We have all the answers in this podcast. Learn how social media can work wonders by reaching out to people for social causes -

Aditya Mhatre, Co- Founder of Indicast

In India, intellectual conversations happen in college cafeterias, so why not just create the same environment online? - This is the thought that started off Indicast- India's largest and longest running podcasting network. We promised you different perspectives on social media. Here is an interesting one from Aditya Mhatre who is one of the co-founders of Indicast.

Why did they choose social media and podcasting over traditional media and good old radio shows? How do they decide who they want to interview and how do they get them to agree? We chatted up with Aditya on his experiences with setting up Indicast and here is what he had to say in a nutshell:

  • Pick people who are not only knowledgeable but also fun to hang out with
  • Take criticism as a sign of great engagement from audience
  • Make sure that what you want is also what your audience wants
  • Make no compromises on questions or on time with guests
  • Great engagement is the key

Listen to our very own podcast for a more wholesome understanding of podcasting in India from Aditya Mhatre himself

Gautam Ghosh

Gautam Ghosh
Gautam is the Director of Digital Content and Community at People Matters and blogger at Gautamblogs. He specializes in the areas of HR, Organization Development and how businesses can leverage Social Media for Organizational Learning and Employee Engagement.

One of India’s earliest bloggers (since 2002) – he’s blogged about HR, Work, Career issues consistently for the last 8 years and is seen as a thought leader in these areas. He has been ranked 2nd most influential online in Talent Management, 6th in HR and 6th most in Enterprise Social Media, and is based out of Delhi, India.[54][55][56]

Gautam has given talks on "Blogging for Business" at organizations. He's frequently quoted in the press as an authority on business blogging.[57][58]

In this interview, Gautam shares with us how social media has personally impacted his life, and sheds light on the role of social media in India today. This insightful session with Gautam also gives listeners an idea of where social media is heading in India: Audio Interview with Gautam Ghosh.

You can follow Gautam through the following platforms:

Sahil Shah

Sahil Shah
A prolific social media user, Sahil writes about all-things-tech, typically in the Indian market. Currently an Account Manager (Social Media) at WAT Consult, he has diverse experience managing brands in India. Sahil contributes actively to his blog as well as Penn Olson, a prominent Asian Tech Blog.

Click on this link to find out more about Sahiel’s views on the evolving social media landscape in India as well as suggestions on how you can use social media to enhance your business in India: Audio Interview with Sahil Shah.

You can follow Sahil through the following platforms:

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Case Studies

Social Media Strategy Draft

Department of Information Technology (DIT) released a draft social media strategy for the India government, providing a basic framework and guidelines for use of social media by agencies. The Framework & Guidelines for Use of Social Media for Government Organisation hopes to help the government enhance its outreach, engage and interact with the 84 per cent of Indian internet users on sites such as Facebook, Orkut and Twitter. DIT has suggested that social media, can be used to gather “direct feedback on the issues from the common man” for policy making purposes. The strategy suggests that Facebook Pages must be updated at least a couple of times a week and Twitter, “slightly more frequently”.Ideally, none of the sites should be left more than a week or two without new content, advised the strategy.[59]

Aaakash: World's Cheapest Tablet

The $35 tablet nicknamed Aakash was launched on October 5 2011 after the government wished to deliver distance learning in rural areas and amongst students. The $60 version of the tablet for retail sales has an inbuilt cellular modem and SIM to access internet, which will be absent in the $35 device, supplied to the government. Both versions of the tablet, will run on Google's Android platform, with WiFi connectivity for internet access and cloud storage. The tablets will have 256 MB of RAM, a 32 GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports. The commercial version of the tablet would have no duty waivers or subsidy, as in the government's version. An inbuilt cellular modem and SIM card will add to the price of the commercial tablet.[60]

Anti-Corruption Movements

The 2011 Indian anti-corruption movement is a series of ongoing demonstrations and protests across India intended to establish strong legislation and enforcement against endemic corruption. The movement is primarily one of non-violent civil resistance, as well as the use of social media to organize, communicate, and raise awareness.

The movement gained momentum since April 5, 2011, when anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare began his now-famous hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. The chief aim of his movement is to alleviate corruption in the Indian government through a piece of legislation called the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Anna Hazare’s highly successful media campaign on social networking sites has built the image of the Gandhi for the media age. When TV cameras could not reach him in jail, Team Anna released a YouTube video, satisfying the 24x7 media's thirst for constant information. The "India against Corruption" page on Facebook clocked more than three lakh supporters. Their website presented Anna's stand versus the government in simple terms. Special widgets showed the latest Anna news on the web browser.

"We wanted every Indian to carry Anna in their pocket," said IT professional Nishant Kumar Dean.

The microblogging site Twitter was flooded with Anna Hazare tweets asking the supporters to participate in protest marches organised in various parts of the country.

The 'Janlokpal' Twitter page has nearly 50,000 followers and the words like 'annahazare', 'indiaagainstcorruption', 'janlokpal', 'lokpal' were trending on Twitter.

A facebook page for Anna Hazare has clocked more than 301,952 'Likes' and still counting. On this page, supporters post details about protest marches happening in various parts of the country.[61]

Census 2011

The Government of India has launched a Census 2011 Facebook page in a bid to raise awareness amongst the Indian population. In addition to promoting Census 2011, the page also allows people across the country to discuss and share issues with government officials. The focus is to drive the message that the government is listening and ready to act on any positive feedback. With almost 20 million Facebook users in India, the social networking site has become an important channel to engage the community.

Census 2011 Facebook Page

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