Meanwhile, public sector websites/apps saw a 29% increase in reach
Visits to websites and mobile apps saw an increase of 61% between March 16 – 22, 2020, when compared to February 10 – 16, 2020, according to latest insights released by media research company Comscore. However, most of the increase occurred recently as visits went up 50% between March 16 – 22, 2020 as opposed to March 9 – 15, 2020, the study stated. Moreover, with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent fluctuation in the financial markets, the ‘Business News’ category’s digital content saw a surge in their reach and engagement as the unique visitors rose 22% between the weeks of March 9 – 15, 2020 and March 16 – 22, 2020, while the increase in total visits was 34%, and total minutes increased by 27%.
“As India grapples with a new way of life, it is impossible to not see the impact on digital media consumption. Consumers have had to change their lifestyles significantly as social distancing, working from home, closed schools and canceled travel/events disrupt daily routines,” Neha Singh, director, syndicated client insights, stated in a blog titled, ‘COVID-19 and its impact on Digital Media Consumption in India.’
The study also revealed that between March 16 – 22, 2020, websites and mobile apps belonging to the public sector saw a 29% increase in reach, as measured by the number of unique visitors. Engagement, in terms of visits, rose 39% while time spent saw a 27% jump. “Consumers have shown increased interest in content hosted on ‘Government’ sites, whether that is the latest number of COVID-19 positive cases or the most updated guidelines to be followed,” the study stated.
Healthcare websites also saw a 25% increase in traffic as people sought information about the novel coronavirus between March 16 – 22, 2020 when compared to February 10 – 16 of the same year. Interestingly, Healthcare retail sites recorded a 146% rise in the same period from February 10 – 16, 2020, the study revealed.
Meanwhile, sports websites/mobile apps, and travel apps including hotels, flights and ride sharing websites and apps saw a drop in their reach and engagement due to coronavirus. The study highlighted that consumer visits to sports websites/mobile apps declined by 76% with total minutes spent dropping by 87% during the March 16-22, 2020 as compared to the week before. Similarly, as the pandemic forced people to abandon their travel plans and stay at home, visits to online travel agents’ websites or apps drop 55%, during the similar period when compared to February 10 – 16, 2020. While hotels sites/apps recorded their peak traffic between March 2 – 8, 2020, visits to hotel websites and mobile apps went down by 66% during March 16 – 22, 2020. Car transportation category, which includes ride hailing apps, recorded 43% drop during the same time period.
Interestingly, the airline industry recorded a 69% rise in website/app traffic during March 16 – 22, 2020 as opposed to March 2 – 8, 2020. According to the study, this was probably due to travelers cancelling or modifying their travel plans.
Expectedly, devoid of sports, travel and any social activities, viewers have turned to online games as between February 10 – 16, 2020 and March 16 – 22, 2020, visits to online gaming websites/apps rose 24%. While, engagement, as measured by time spent on gaming sites or apps, increased by 21% during the same time period.