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Amol Gurwara

EA (Electronic Arts)

Allergic to spending money on digital products?

Here’s 50 rupees for that special samosa but I need that movie downloaded for free! Despite a rapidly exploding smartphone user base in India, slated to grow to 405 million devices by 2016, we haven’t yet seen an upswing in digital product sales (as reflected in app store revenue charts) yet in this market, proportionate to the huge downloads that we see. More than affordability and consumption, this seem to be a consumer mindset issue. It appears that the bulk of our consumer base is averse to spending on anything that is constructed using bit and bytes. Relatively strong economic indicators don’t seem to be translating into solid digital product sales (games, in-app purchases and other digital content) compared to even smaller markets. What are the factors responsible for this and what drivers will change this eco-system favourably? Are there some product categories that are trending differently? Or are content providers destined to rely primarily on advertising revenue for perpetuity in this market?

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