Generally the Internet and especially the contents in the World Wide Web (WWW) are perceived to be dominated by Americans companies. Example cited by many for this includes the well known Internet Giants (Yahoo, Google, MSN), Technology sites (C’Net, SlashDot) and more.
The reason many attribute for the numbers favouring US Company’s is the entreprenuer spirit of the americans and the availability of funds. Funds in the form of Venture Capitalists and private investors make it possible for ventures on the Internet to get conceived, born and more importantly grow upto adulthood.
Nowadays, I am noticing change in the spread of contents on the Internet. It is becoming very global in nature, than anything known to Humans before. Though the dominance of “English” is still high, it too will change and it is changing faster than many can even realize. As many predict, the rising red giant (China) and its rapid adoption of Internet over the next few years will make “Chinese” the language used by most on the WWW. At the same time many are missing the rise of Indian Language content as well on the WWW. Though Hindi or Bengali will never overtake Chinese, which is because of the sheer number of Indian languages, the rise of overall Indic contents cannot be ignored. The reasons I believe which is helping (which in future will accelerate) the increase in Indian Languages are the following:
1) Platform Technology: Almost all the popular OS and Browsers now support Unicode and have in-built support for all major Indian Languages. The list includes MS (Bhashaindia), Redhat (Indic Fonts in Linux), Mac OS X (Tiger) and others.
2) Mobile Telephony: The rise in the number of mobile subscribers. India is the fastest growing market in this and the investments made by Telecom companies (Telcos) in India are mind-boggling. Already the metros are saturated with growth, so obviously Rural India is the next big forte for the Telcos. Here Voice Traffic growth alone is unlikely to improve ARPU’s (Average Revenue Per User – a technical gargon in the mobile industry to say how much many they make per customer). Growth in Data traffic is paramount and to do it, English Content alone is not going to be sufficient. Regional Language content, like what Reliance Infocomm seems to have realised very early, is certainly going to be the big need of the hour. Consolidation in the mobile industry will also be a huge influencer in the spend. It is expected by Telecom experts that in the next 1 or 2 years India will have only 5 Telcos (BSNL/MTNL, Airtel, Reliance, Tata & Hutch) across the country. This is certainly a need of the hour and which will propel Mobile and Data in India to new heights.
3) Media: This is the most important, the fierce competition that is happening in India on the Media scene. All major players (Times Group, Hindustan Times, India Today, Sun TV, Zee, Star) are expanding into every possible space of media and also spreading their reach with in the country. They are spending 1000’s of Crores (of Rupees) in producing Content in various formats. This is certainly to result in huge amount of content, that too regional/local language content. Many of these content will also find their way into WWW as well.
Please post below in the comments section, your thoughts and sites on this topic.