Smartphone consumption sees a gradual drop in Week 9 of COVID-19: BARC Nielsen

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In Week 9 of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, smartphone usage saw a gradual drop in usage although the consumption still remained 11% higher than the pre COVID period. The daily time spent on smartphone dropped from 17.9 billion minutes in week of 9th May to 17.8 billion minutes in week of 16th May. The total consumption per day per user dropped from 1.1 GB in preceding week to 1.05 GB in the week of 16th May.

Nielsen reports that there has been an increase in the non prime time hours i.e 10 AM – 2 PM and 10 PM – 2 AM. 6-10 PM time period had the highest share at 26%, followed by 10 AM – 2 PM, and 2 PM – 6 PM at 22%.

Smartphone consumption sees a gradual drop

While the consumption dropped versus previous weeks in many categories, Games, Social Networking, Education, Video Conferencing, continued to be still much higher than the initial days of lockdown. Social networking had a 32%, Games had a 44%, Education saw a 46%, Video Conferencing saw a 415% of change in time spent per user per week vs Pre COVID.

Gaming, Social Networking, and Video Conferencing saw a drop after peak usage few weeks back, with shopping starting to revive. Time on etail apps spent saw an increase due to opening of delivery of non essentials.

The news consumption while being higher than pre COVID times is now stable over the fast few weeks. There has been a 29% of change in time spent per user per week vs Pre COVID across news apps, websites and video. Nielsen notes that video news has seen a much more increase than websites or apps.

News app saw a meagre 1% change in time spent per user per week vs Pre COVID whereas news websites saw a 58% change in time spent, and video news saw a change of 35%.

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Avatar of Basil Kannagi Arasu
Basil Kannagi Arasu


Basil keeps an eye on the latest happenings in the Telecom sector. In his free time, you can find him streaming the Premier League which he started watching in 2013.

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