Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others are rapidly changing the reading and viewing habits of an increasing number of people, mostly youngsters, according to Assocham.

Based on an analysis of responses from just 235 families, the industry body claimed that Indians residing in big cities are now spending less than half the time reading newspapers and watching television as compared to 3-4 years ago.

“While it is true that the Indian newspaper industry remains robust with a print order of about 62 million and the common households continue to remain loyal to their morning newspapers, the time spent on reading among the family members is witnessing a sharp inclination in favour of social media,” Assocham said in a statement.

The chamber conducted an analysis based on responses of 235 families in major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru, with nearly 80 per cent of the respondents saying their morning routine of newspaper(s) with tea has undergone a sea change.

“Ironically, some of the unverified stuff passes as truth (on social media platforms) which remains an area of concern. However, as the new media evolves into maturity, hopefully, the users would become much more discerning in the way they would consume the information from the internet,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

Marketing strategists are also changing their tracks in line with the changing trends in media consumption and focusing on digital advertising and marketing, with the help of some useful analytics which guide their message to the target groups, Assocham said.

Moreover, the chamber observed that realising the importance and reach of the internet platforms, a majority of newspapers have gone digital while individual articles and stories are being circulated on social media.