Millennials were the single most engaged group on smartphones in the run-up to and during and after the Union Budget. News platforms saw a surge in traction driven largely by the Budget-related narratives pre-budget, and on the budget day and after, news aggregators took the lion’s share of engagement amongst smartphone users, with the top two aggregators accounting for almost 60% of total time-spent on news related content. TOI was the most popular of the standalone platforms with twice the traction of its nearest competitor Zee News. Platforms like DainikJagran, Inshorts, and AajTak saw the highest gains in traffic during this time.
These are the findings of a study jointly presented by Kantar IMRB along with Mobile Marketing Association (MMA India) on the impact of Budget 2017 on mobile platforms. Kantar IMRB’s Mobi Track smartphone usage panel was used to analyse consumption of budget-related content in the weeks leading upto and during the Budget 2017 presentation.
Coming in the wake of demonetisation, the 2017 Budget was an eagerly anticipated event. As a result, News platforms saw a surge in traction driven in large part by the Budget related narratives. A steady diet of budget forecasts contributed to an increase in overall time-spent in the days leading up to the Budget presentation. This was followed by a massive spike in engagement on Feb 1st, the day of the Budget announcement.
A second spike in traction was witnessed over the weekend following the Budget, as readers caught up on in-depth analyses and the long term implications of the Budget announcements.
‘Digital generation most engaged by Budget’
“Engagement levels were expectedly highest among the digital generation i.e. 20-24 year olds —they accounted for the highest Reach and Time Spent across all demographics, said Hemant Mehta, MD Media and Digital & CSO, Kantar IMRB. “The desire for multiple points-of view was evident in the strong preference for news aggregators, a stark contrast to the behaviour of offline-readers who tend to limit their reading to a handful of print publications.”
News consumption shifting to mobile, social worldwide
“News consumption is undergoing two fundamental shifts across the globe including India,” said, Preeti Desai, Country Manager India, MMA. One is the rise in news audiences accessing news via their mobile devices, and the other is the increase in people who read or watch news through social platforms.
“Mobile will continue to grow leaps and bounds as one of the primary mediums that Indians will access ‘News’ and the multiple spikes during 2017 budget showcases how fast Indians have adopted reading news not just in English but also in multiple languages (15+).
“It is important to note the second spike post budget day – the time spent is actually higher during the weekend and indicates that apart from short news Indians also reached out to various mobile news sources for longer in-depth analysis post the budget day.
“With rapid changes in the mobile landscape it is important to keep a continuous pulse on the way consumers interact and these passive probes and insights on mobile usage in India by MMA and KANTAR IMRB are of critical importance to the modern-day marketers as they acknowledge Mobile as the 3rd largest advertising medium in India, after TV and Print.
“Mobile Ad spends estimated to be Rs.4200 Cr. 2016 are expected to grow to Rs.10,000 crore in 2018 [Source: Mobile Ecosystem and Ad-Sizing Report India 2016],” Desai said.