How did Jio change the Indian Digital Landscape and Online Market?

How did Jio change the Indian Digital Landscape and Online Market?


October 24, 2019 10:21 am / Varun Raveendran

If you are a person who has been living in India for the past decade, you would’ve noticed a major paradigm shift in Online Connectivity. To be more exact, this shift happened in September 2016 when Reliance Jio finally launched its services to the public. All of a sudden more and Indians were getting  access to high-speed Internet. With dirt-cheap pricing and lots of freebies, Jio became the go-to internet provider for a lot of Indians in a short period of time. 

It is been 3 years since Jio was introduced to the public and at present India leads in data usage per phone at about 9.8 GB per month ( Study done by Ericsson). Jio’s part in this Online boom cannot be denied because it wasn’t just Jio offering low data prices. In order to remain competitive, other telecom operators had to lower their tariffs and thereby create a new norm where the Internet was just another cheap commodity. Many people, from rural areas, who never experienced the internet before was getting access to high-speed connectivity. 

Jio and the Indian Digital Landscape

Ever since Micheal Aldrich invented Online Shopping way back in 1979, the trend has caught on and developed into E-Commerce giants. The e-commerce trend hit the mainstream in India only after 2007 when Flipkart was first launched. Amazon, the Seattle based e-commerce giant, launched its services around 2012. But for these e-commerce companies doing business in India was rough during that time. With only 50 million Indians online, during 2012-2013, the playing field for these companies was rather narrow. Swiggy, Uber etc were all established in the pre-Jio era but their market saturation was pretty low because frankly most of India wasn’t online yet. 

Now fast forward to 2019, India now has 451 million active Internet users. Flipkart (now backed by Walmart)  and Amazon sales are so high that it is now threatening the very existence of brick and mortar stores. Swiggy is operational in over 300 cities and Internet-based businesses are booming nationwide. What Jio has done for the Indian online market is that they have expanded the playing field. As we mentioned earlier, rural areas of India was an untapped market, Jio has made them a very important inclusion in the digital marketing landscape.

Now as a Digital Marketer how is the post-Jio marketing landscape in India beneficial to you?

The rise of smartphones

Chinese mobile manufactures, Oppo, Vivo, RealMe, One Plus and Xioami have truly made India home. They provide cheap smartphones with tons of functionality and hence smartphones became an affordable commodity rather than an elite one. These smartphones coupled with high-speed 4g connectivity that Jio gave, transformed the way in which Indians used mobile phones. 

More and more people wanted to use their phone’s features to buy things online. Or if they preferred to buy it from a physical location they started looking up opinions about the thing they were about to buy. It was really mind-blowing how the lifestyle of an entire nation changed so quickly.

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If you are a new business owner you might be faced with the dilemma of whether you should sell your products online or just go for the normal offline sales. But with the business environment right now, it is always advisable to go online. Customers carry their purchasing power at the tip of their fingers nowadays so opt for digital marketing.

The appetite for Content.

With better Internet comes the bigger appetite for content. Content could come in all shapes and forms, like videos, podcasts, blogs, infographics etc. The biggest proof to show that there has been a change in content consumption by Indians during the past few years is the growth of T- Series youtube channel. 

T- Series is the most subscribed channel on YouTube with over 115 million subscribers and it is also the channel with the most number of views with over 86 billion views. Even though they established their channel in 2006, their real growth came since 2016. They reached the peak of their growth in 2019 with them gaining around 1,00,000 subscribers per day. T-Series’s success on a platform like YouTube shows how much the Indian public craves for good content.

This hunger for content has given rise to many influencers and content creators across various platforms like TikTok to YouTube. The content they create ranges from Tech reviews to lifestyle vlogs and the Indian public can’t get enough of it.

So for a new business Content Marketing is a great facet of digital marketing to apply to your operations. The new tech-savvy population of India can’t get enough of good content. By creating content that resonates with the public, you can take advantage of the ever-growing digital market of India. 

The Streaming Wars in India

Online Streaming services are another facet of content consumption. Both Amazon and Netflix launched in India around 2016 and Hotstar was launched in 2015. These are the big three in the Indian Online streaming market. But with the rising popularity of Online streaming more and more players like Airtel and MX Player are entering the market. Now as a digital marketer how is this beneficial to you? The answer is advertisements. 

Ok, let us explain what is happening right now, Netflix is a US-based streaming company but as of lately they are losing subscribers in the US which they plan to gain in India. But, Netflix isn’t that cheap whereas its competitors, Prime and Hotstar are very affordable. So in order to get more subscribers, Netflix was forced to introduce a much cheaper mobile-only plan. But still the prospects don’t really look that great for them, so one of the more easier ways to increase profitability is through ads. The issue is Netflix as a company has vowed to never show advertisement in their platform. But you can only resist for so long.  

As for the other companies, Hotstar already allows ads on its platform. Advertising on Hotstar is huge because it is undisputedly the biggest streaming platform in India. They also have the rights to broadcast Cricket matches and hence it is guaranteed that your ad would be seen by millions.

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Growth of the Indian Gaming Industry

The growth of the Gaming Industry in India is a by-product of two points mentioned above, a decent smartphone with fast internet and content appetite. Gaming has been there in India since the 90s but it was a very niche hobby. 

But since the advent of high-speed internet and smartphones, gaming has become an industry rather than a hobby. Since the past 5 years, there has been a steady growth in the gaming industry in India. Then everything changed when PUBG Mobile was launched last year. The Indian youth was soon addicted to the game and it soon became one of the most popular games ever released. 

The youth couldn’t get enough of this game if they weren’t playing they were watching others play it. That is how gaming influencers were formed in India. Channels such as MortaL or RawKnee Games has millions of subscribers and all they do is play this game. 

The Indian Gaming industry has seen so much growth that it is soon touted to become a billion-dollar industry. So the gaming industry looks like a promising place for young entrepreneurs to start out their career and flourish in the coming years.

So, in the article above we discussed how Jio has changed the digital landscape of India. Change is inevitable and the way the Indian public embraced these changes are absolutely wonderful. We can confidently say that the Jio launch has been the most disruptive event to happen in the Indian marketplace in recent times and its ripple effects are still going on and we are on the constant lookout for anything.


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