India is changing its mobile habits and that can help Airtel and Vodafone

India is changing its mobile habits and that can help Airtel and Vodafone
  • Due to the lockdown, Indians are now spending more time than ever on social media, internet-based calling apps and watching original content.
  • The sudden change in lifestyles could lead to the emergence of new long-term trends like improved usage of apps and services.
  • These changes could provide new opportunities for telecom companies to improve their revenues.
Instead of watching Game of Thrones on the loop, Indians are now watching more original content and web series. This is one of the many changes in mobile habits of Indians observed by a ICICI Securities report, and also could be one of the side-effects of an ‘absence of fresh sports’ content.

After IPL has been indefinitely postponed, it looks like the love for originals is here to stay which is good news for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and more.

“Consumer behaviour may have undergone changes due to the sudden change in lifestyles during the past 21 days of lockdown, and there is a high probability of emergence of new long-term trends after things normalise.” said a report by ICICI Securities.

The other changes in mobile usage habits are usual suspects -- more mobile games and more social media. If these changes are here to stay, they can create new opportunities and revenues for telecom companies. The most likely beneficiaries are Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Tata Communications, according to the report.

India’s mobile habits are changing

A recent BARC-Nielsen survey also threw up some interesting results, hinting that Indians are either discovering new categories, or are spending more time on those apps and services.

Demand for original series doubled

The demand for original series has increased by 123%, suggesting that there is a wide market for this content. These users are also spending 32% more time watching original content.

The unavailability of fresh sports content has seen its demand plummet by 98%.
India is changing its mobile habits and that can help Airtel and Vodafone

Indians are spending 40% more time social networking

After the lockdown, Indians are spending nearly 5 hours a week on social media as opposed to a little more than 3 hours prior to the lockdown.

Similarly, use of internet-based voice calls has also increased to more than 5 hours per week, from less than 4 hours prior to the lockdown.
India is changing its mobile habits and that can help Airtel and Vodafone

Gaming and video on demand apps have also benefited

Online gaming apps have also reaped the benefits of the lockdown, with a 15% increase in users per week and a 44% increase in the time spent per week.

While users of Video on Demand (VOD) apps saw a marginal increase, the time spent streaming videos increased from 3.5 hours per week to 4 hours per week. This should lead to a considerable increase in data usage, since video streaming apps are data intensive.

India is changing its mobile habits and that can help Airtel and Vodafone

How telcos can gain from these changes

Rise in internet literacy will drive usage

A rise in internet literacy due to the use of new apps and services will improve subscriber loyalty, meaning they will keep coming back for more content.

With all major telcos offering their own video on demand apps and services, improved subscriber loyalty will lead to an increase in usage and data consumption.

Demand for fixed broadband services likely to increase

The lockdown has resulted in an increase in time spent on VOD apps. This could translate to an increase in VOD content on smart TVs, using apps like Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Zee5 and more. Since smart TVs require a fixed broadband connection, this could lead to an increase in broadband users.

See also:

As India dates from home, usage of Tinder, Bumble, OK Cupid spikes

Ramayan’s 170 million views from four episodes says India still can’t get over popular mythological shows from the 80s

Top fitness apps for the smartphone to keep exercising during lockdown