Since the beginning of the 21st century, entertainment habits have been changing across generations. In the last decade, this process of change has progressed even faster and been particularly apparent in younger generations. Many of these changes to young Indians’ entertainment habits are related to advances in technology. Let’s take a closer look at some of these changes.
The days of having to go to the cinema to see a film are in the past. While cinema going remains a popular pastime, streaming movies has risen in popularity, especially over the past year. With so many streaming services available, it is now possible to find almost any movie or television show online. One of the reasons that streaming movies or shows appeals to young people is due to the freedom it offers. Streaming services allow you to watch what you want to watch whenever you want to see it. Your entertainment time can be arranged around your schedule, and not the other way around.
Streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime give Indian audiences access to a massive variety of international content. This access has also contributed to changing tastes, as alternative styles of movie making become easier to find. At the same time, however, it increases affection for familiar film styles. In this way, younger generations’ entertainment habits remain similar to older generations.
Podcasts are another form of streamed entertainment that older generations often struggle to understand but that younger generations embrace. Since podcasts are basically radio shows that you can listen to whenever you want, this reluctance on the part of older generations to engage with them is a bit confusing. Some of the best podcasts in India currently are on topics like sport (#AakashVani), film (Anupama Chopra Film Review) and current events (3 Things). Podcasts are a great form of entertainment and can be educational as well.
Mobile gaming has grown in popularity around the world, especially with younger generations. According to a report in the Hindu Business Line, mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing market sectors in India. The report predicts a jump in gaming revenues from $1.2bn in 2020 to $3bn in 2023. This is a huge increase and shows just how popular mobile gaming has become. Unlike console or PC video games that require gamers to purchase an expensive system and games, mobile games are often free or very inexpensive and don’t require any technology besides a smartphone. The most popular mobile games in India today can be divided into two categories: competitive games including Clash of Clans and Call of Duty: Mobile, and casual games such as Candy Crush, Genshin Impact and Ludo King.
One form of mobile gaming that has really grown in popularity in recent years is playing online casino games. Online slot machine games are very similar to regular mobile games except that they offer the opportunity to win real money, which makes them particularly appealing to younger adult players. Live casino games are a recent addition to many online casinos and are an exciting development since they more closely mirror the traditional casino experience. Playing live casino games offers young Indians the opportunity to experience the real casino experience without the expense of travelling to a casino and all the associated costs.
Social media has become one of the most popular entertainment activities for younger generations of Indians. Facebook is the most widely used, with nearly 90% of Indian social media users having a Facebook account. The next most widely used is YouTube, at 76%. Social media is a communication tool that allows young people to express themselves and build relationships with others. Some social media services offer creative outlets. Instagram and TikTok, to name two of the most popular apps, allow users to upload photographs or short videos. This can help young Indian artists develop their skills and build an audience. Of course there are concerns about how social media is used and its negative effects on mental health, but when used in moderation and with a critical eye, it can be a healthy pastime.
As more and more of our daily activities are moved online, it’s no surprise that many of our favourite leisure and entertainment pastimes are online too. The digital world has become just as real as the physical one in some areas. These changes can seem concerning, but they are also freeing because the internet opens the whole world up to its users, allowing younger generations of Indians to have access to media and entertainment their parents’ and grandparents’ generations could only imagine.