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Covid-19 impact: TV, mobile consumption witness major spike

While the daily total time spent per viewer also jumped from 3 hour 46 minutes in January to 3 hours 51 minutes each in week under consideration. The increase in TV viewership was driven by kids (20%) after schools were shut down and kids could even venture out due to restrictions in place.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2020, 11.42 AM IST
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The data also showed that the growth in TV largely came from non-prime viewership.
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MUMBAI: Confined to their homes, Indians are spending more time on their television and mobile devices, as per data released by TV viewership measurement agency BARC India and global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen.

The total TV consumption has increased by 8% across India in the week ended March 20 (Covid-19 Week 1), while the total time spent per user on smartphones went up by by 6.2% to 25 hours a week.

TV reach went up by 32 million new average daily viewers in the week to touch 592 million viewers.

While the daily total time spent per viewer also jumped from 3 hour 46 minutes in January to 3 hours 51 minutes each in week under consideration.

The increase in TV viewership was driven by kids (20%) after schools were shut down and kids could even venture out due to restrictions in place.

The report was released on Friday over video conferencing by Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India, and Dolly Jha, country leader, Nielsen Global Media, South Asia.
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TV Viewership up across genres and languages
Interestingly, the consumption growth in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM) was higher (10%) than the South region (5%) as the HSM region witnessed spike in both, reach and time spent.

“As seen from the early trends on growth in TV consumption, families are turning to their trusted TV sets,” said Prathyusha Agarwal, chief consumer officer at Zee Entertainment Enterprises. “We at ZEE see it as our responsibility to keep our viewers positively engaged, entertained and well informed, helping them sail through these tough times.”

News genre was the biggest gainer with 57% increase in the consumption across languages.

And the sports genre saw the biggest dip after major global sporting properties like La Liga, NBA and Premier League were suspended or cancelled.

The data also showed that the growth in TV largely came from non-prime viewership.

“With this rise in consumption, we are determined to ensure our content acts as the primary glue to hold families and societies together during this period of social distancing,” Agarwal added.

Smartphone users spend more time on OTT, social networking, gaming

Smartphone usage grew to 25 hours in the week ended March 22, 2020 compared to 23.6 hours per week in January.

While 15-24 years and 25-34 year age group users have increased their screen time by 7% and 3%, it’s the 35-44 year age group, who have started spending 11% more time on their mobile screens.

Mirroring the trend on TV, news apps also witnessed 8% more users per week spending on an average 32 minutes reading news.

Gamings numbers also register a spike. While the number of users saw a modest 2% increase, the time spent on gaming went up by 11% to 169 minutes per users/week.

The time spent per user week on video streaming services saw an increase of 3% to 219 minutes.

Also, with a lot of uncertainty around recent events, people have increased their time spent on chatting (+23%) and social networking (+25%) apps. Almost all social networking apps - Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have seen significant increases not only in time spent but also in the sessions per user. Voice calls, meanwhile, saw only 4% increase in time.

Shopping apps, travel apps and food apps, however, suffered a huge drop in both users per week and time spent per week.

“We are living through unprecedented times. Physical social distancing seems to have led to a phenomenal growth in virtual social togetherness with an almost 20% increase in time spent per user on chats, social media and news in the last one week. And we anticipate this to grow further,” said Jha of Nielsen Global Media, South Asia.

(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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