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India smartphone engagement continues to rise

A Smartphones Usage and Behaviour report from Kantar IMRB and MMA shows that time-spent on smartphones jumped by 16 per cent in the period Jan-March 2017 over the previous quarter. Strong demand for messaging services, social media platforms, and entertainment apps helped to drive the expansion of mobile internet usage. The average time spent on smartphones daily is 37 per cent higher than TV demonstrating that the engagement levels provided by smartphones remain unparalleled.

Key findings:

  1. Search, Social, Messaging
    • o The category continues to witness strong demand for messaging services and social media platforms as average time spent on these platforms grew by 42 per cent.
  2. Entertainment
    • o A higher incidence of streaming (as compared to downloading) was evident by the fact that the 3 out of the top 5 entertainment properties were streaming services.
    • o A combination of factors including low on-board storage, higher mobile data speeds, and lower data pricing, provided a fillip to entertainment-hungry youth who showed a clear preference for video streaming. However, audio appeared to be the entertainment format of choice for streamers over 25.
    • o Regional content proves to be a big draw; YouTube added 11 local languages in light of strong demand for regional language content.
  • Finance
    • o India witnessed an upsurge in the usage of m-wallets as Paytm, MobiKwik, Freecharge, and PhonePe made up 4 out of the top 5 most accessed properties.
    • o Average time spent on Paytm increased by 13 per cent as compared to the previous quarter.
  1. News and Media

o  News aggregators such as UC News, Google Newsstand, Dailyhunt were among the top properties accessed, indicating a growing preference to consume news from multiple sources on a single platform.

o  Consumers aged 25 years or more tend to be the primary users of News and Media, spending nearly 43 per cent more time than average.

Preeti Desai, Country Manager, Mobile Marketing Association India noted, “We are extremely happy that MMA along with KANTAR IMRB is leading the charge with quarterly studies on Smart Phone Usage and Behaviour as with radical shifts in consumer media consumption in India, it is vital that marketers get essential quantitative metrics from the industry on how to best optimise Mobile in the marketing mix. Mobile is clearly the third largest mass medium in terms of Ad spends in India today, with estimated spends in 2016 amounting to ₹ 4,200 Cr increasing to an estimated spends of ₹ 6643 Cr in 2017. With everything almost on demand, Indian engagement levels provided by smartphones are unparalleled – and few innovative marketers have deployed an integrated marketing strategy that strategically takes advantage of both TV and Mobile as mediums acknowledging the average time spent on smartphones daily is 37 per cent higher than the time spent on TV. Whilst Mobile video in India has grown faster and bigger than expected, it pays to forecast and marketers should review mobile audio as a marketing medium since ‘Vernacular Audio is set to boom’, as it appeared to be the entertainment format for choice for streamers over 25.”

Hemant Mehta, Managing Director, Media and Digital, Kantar IMRB, said, “Smartphone users continued to take advantage of the low-priced data offers to sate their appetite for entertainment-related content, specifically video. But what interested us the most is that we’re now beginning to see the result of government initiatives in driving literacy about digital payments. For the first time, we’re seeing the usage of mobile wallets among less affluent sections (SEC C/D/E), and this bodes well for a nation that can strongly benefit from bringing more people online.”

The Smartphones Usage and Behaviour report from Kantar IMRB and MMA enables all members of the ecosystem to stay updated with consumer mobile trends and media consumption habits. Also, at the same time, it elaborates the role of mobile as an influencer in the consumer’s path-to-purchase.

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