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#WFH | Coronavirus causes 1.5 hours spike in smartphone usage; consumption of news, gaming rises

Time spent on news apps saw a 17 percent increase in Week I of the coronavirus-led disruption

March 27, 2020 / 08:48 PM IST

As Indians have no access to out of home entertainment, smartphones have become their best friend to keep the entertainment quotient high.

While content consumption has been growing, time spent on smartphones saw significant growth during the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak.

According to BARC-Nielsen data released on March 27, time spent per user on smartphone during the disruption period between March 16-22 was 25 hours, a six percent rise during the pre-COVID-19 period (January 13- February 2). In other words, the time spent on smartphone in Week I of the coronavirus-led disruption has increased by 1.5 hours.

On smartphones, maximum increase in time spent was seen in the age group 35 to 44 years at 11 percent, followed by 15-24 age group (up seven percent) and 25-34 age group (up three percent).

Also, metros showed a six percent increase in time spent, mini metros eight percent, Tier I markets two percent and Tier II market six percent.


Time spent on news apps saw a 17 percent increase. Along with news apps, news websites were also visited by 26 percent more users, while the number of website visits per user went up by 29 percent.

Online gaming and video on-demand also saw increase in time spent at 11 percent and three percent, respectively.

Consumers also spent 25 percent more time on chatting and on social networking. Time spent on WhatsApp saw the highest increase at 27 percent, followed by Instagram (up 25 percent), Facebook (up 23 percent) and TikTok (up 20 percent).

The data also highlighted that consumption on social networking, video streaming and gaming increased during 10 am to 4 pm in Week I of the COVID-19 disruption.

But when it comes to travel tech, food tech and etail, they were severely hit due to the coronavirus outbreak. Time spent on shopping apps, travel sites and food ordering platforms fell by 11 percent, 32 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Mar 27, 2020 08:48 pm
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