India is officially the fifth largest economy in the world after overtaking the UK. It’s has a GDP of nearly $3 billion. And thanks to its robust manufacturing and service sector, the sub-continent is the fastest growing trillion-dollar economy.
One of India’s best features is that it has high savings rates. It also consumes most products manufactured in the country, something that reduces overdependence on imports. When it comes to spending disposable incomes, India’s growing middle-class turns to these sources of entertainment.
#1: Social Media
Social media is the most popular forms of entertainment in India according to research firm Statista. At least 51% of the Indian population has access to social networks, with Facebook leading the pack at 79.3%.
YouTube is the second most popular social network at 7.35% while Pinterest comes in third at 5.32%. Next is Instagram at 3.9%, Twitter and 1.91% and Russia’s social networking app VKontakte at 2%.
Although some people join social networks to make friends, many Indians joins social networks primarily for entertainment. And sure enough, most social apps are jam-packed with drama, comedy, documentaries, memes and storytellers.
#2: Watching Television
Indians love watching TV, whether it’s Bollywood, Hollywood or sports entertainment. Even in this age of Netflix and Chill, broadcast TV is still growing at double digit figures. The explanation is simple.
Television sets are cheap and there’s a lot of free entertainment on TV. It’s not like traveling, which costs a lot of money in planning and tickets. TV entertainment comes with almost no charges. And even where subscriptions are necessary, they’re cheaper than many alternative forms of entertainment.
Another reason TVs are popular in India is that the quality of home-grown entertainment has improved. Sure, plenty of people prefer to watch shows produced in Europe and North America. But Bollywood has been producing a lot of great content, some of which has been exported globally.
Visit any popular gaming network—Twitch, YouTube, Facebook—and there will be Indian gamers. Surprisingly, many of them use mobile devices and not PC or consoles for entertainment. It’s easy to see why, though.
For starters, mobile technology has advanced so much that today’s smartphones can handle a lot of powerful video games. They’re also much cheaper than PCs and consoles. Additionally, more and more developers are bringing their most successful PC games to mobile devices.
Takes casinos as an example. No longer do you need a desktop computer to play slots or card games. This online casino top list for India features respected brands whose games can be played on iOS or Android devices.
And get this—you don’t need to install more apps on your phone. Any functioning mobile browser can support mobile-responsive casinos. That said, not all gaming sites accept Indians. Zlots.com is a new casino website from Zamedia N.V. that can help you find great British and Indian casinos.
More than a quarter of the Indian population cherish reading. And that’s alright. Reading is not only great for entertainment; but it can also be informative, educational and inspiring. Twenty six percent of Indians read newspapers—online or printed copies.
They read newspapers for political, entertainment, business and sports news. Or they read to get inspiration from features, education from educational columns or to learn more from the opinion sections of fellow compatriots.
Amazingly, the most popular books in India come from home-grown authors. The God of Small Things, the White Tiger and a Suitable Boy—three popular novels—all come from India-based authors.
On Amazon India, children and non-fictional books about money, history or politics dominate the best-seller section. That means the country is heavily invested in educating children through reading. And that many Indians prefer non-fiction to fictional content.
#5: Going to the Movies
At least 14% of Indians like to watch movies at theaters. To provide some context, India has a popular of 1.35 billion people, ranking only second to China (1.4B). As such, 14% of India represents nearly 200 million people.
Like TV, India consumes a lot of home-made content. And that means the most popular films in the country come from Bollywood and not Hollywood. Flicks like 3 Idiots, Dangal and PK have had immense success both locally and internationally.
Of course, Indians also watch international films. In fact, a growing number of Indians watch more foreign than local films. That’s why the Jungle Book, Fast and Furious, the Avengers and the Harry Potter Series achieved so much success in the country.
#6: Listening to the Radio
Somethings don’t just change. Radio FM stations have been a source of entertainment in India for over 50 years. And little has changed. Sure, people now listen to the radio online, through their iPhones and laptops. But they still listen to the radio.
Surprisingly, experts have been predicting the death of radio stations for over two decades. And no matter what technologies come up, lots of people choose to listen to music, get their news and education from radio rather than TV or the Internet.
#7: Sports Entertainment
India is famous globally for its success in Cricket and field hockey. But increasingly, Indians are also investing in European football, wrestling, MMA, basketball and athletics. Precisely, the Indian Super League is now a billion-pound industry and often attracts some big names from top European leagues.
On TV, it’s now common to find popular sports TV networks showcasing live broadcasts of famous leagues. English football is pretty popular. And so is the Champions League. Football aside, Indians also consume a lot of North American sports content: The NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, to name the top leagues.
#8: Personal Interests on the Internet
For millions of people in India, the Internet is cheap and easy to access. In fact, over 560 million Indians use the Internet for personal interests. That’s nearly half of the population. Some people browse the web for education. Others use it solely for entertainment. On the flip side, some people use the Internet to access content not readily available in India.
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