Is the drop in online news consumption a sign of things to come? Many of the top 20 online news destinations in India — Times Network, Jagran — saw their numbers on reach and time spent fall in 2022. Overall, the number of Indians consuming news online fell marginally from 457 million in May last year to 451 million by September. The time spent fell by 9 per cent over the same period, according to Comscore data.
A big reason, which this newspaper was the first to report, could be the flattening of internet growth. From double-digit growth rates through 2016 to 2020, it slumped to about 4 per cent in 2021, going by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data. In the quarter ending in June of 2022, the growth in internet subscribers was less than 1 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2021.
The reason? Smartphone prices. The sweet spot for people in the middle and lower end of the market to upgrade from an ordinary phone to a sma
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