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Average Indian User Unlocks Phone at Least 70 Times a Day: India Lock Screen Report 2021

200% increase in the time spent on mobile lock screens in the past one year; average user spends at least 25 minutes to consume content on Glance, every day.

Mobile ‘lock screen’ has emerged as the most preferred medium for content consumption as smartphone users in India have shifted from conventional platforms to digital ones for their content need, said the first India Lock Screen Report 2021 by Glance, an InMobi group company. According to the report titled “What India Consumes on Lock Screen”, there has been a 200% increase in the time spent on mobile lock screens in the past one year while an average user spends at least 25 minutes to consume content on Glance, every day.

Glance is the world’s first ‘screen zero’ platform that uses lock screens of devices, especially smartphones, to deliver personalised, locally relevant, and live content to users. The report which is based on the users’ behaviour on the Glance platform between January 2020 to January 2021 also found many interesting consumer insights. For example, it found, average smartphone users in India unlock their smartphones at least 70 times a day out of which 50 times they do it just to consume contents pushed on the lock screens. Post-dinner and Before Bed are the most preferred times for users for accessing lock screen content. Similarly, based on the login times, the report found that typically users from states such as Telangana, Odisha, and Manipur are early risers while those from Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Gujarat go to bed quite late in the night.

Entertainment, News, and Nature/Wildlife emerged as the top three content categories on the lock screen platform while users’ preference for digital content for few other sectors such as health & fitness, polls & quizzes, trivia, and politics also increased significantly.   

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives, including the way we consume content,” said Bikash Chowdhury, Vice President – Marketing at Glance. “The India Lock Screen Report 2021 gives us powerful insights on mobile-first content consumption that’s sweeping across metros and tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. We see strong momentum in these trends in 2021 as well and are confident that this year will be another solid year of growth for lock screen-based content platforms and short-video apps,” Chowdhury added.        

The report found that there was a huge preference among the users for video content, which logged an impressive 182% increase in consumption. Short video apps also drew huge engagement during this period with the average time spent by users on Roposo going up by 30% where at least one in every two years shared a video. Comedy and Music were the two most-watched genres in the short video category while regional languages were preferred by users from non-metros and smaller cities.    

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India prefers entertainment content the most on their lock screens 

The Indian audience has always been fond of entertainment as a genre. During the Covid-19 triggered lockdown last year and the subsequent period, content under this category has evoked tremendous engagement. As Indians continue to increasingly spend time on their lock screen for content consumption, Entertainment as a category led in terms of content consumption followed by News and Nature/wildlife that accounted for 20% and 11% respectively. Content in categories such as sports and travel also saw significant consumption. Owing to these encouraging stats, Glance emerged as a perfect launchpad for numerous new movie trailers and song releases.

India prefers video over any other format while consuming content 

Video has always been considered one of the most interactive forms of engagement. As people increasingly consume content on their smartphones, their content preferences and ways of expression are progressively evolving and moving from text to images to videos at a faster pace. Among the various content formats available on the Glance platform, videos accounted for 64% of overall content consumption, while articles (texts and images) accounted for the remaining 36%. With the internet becoming more accessible and affordable, the consumption of video content in smaller cities has almost come at par with metros and large cities. Cities such as Lucknow, Pune, and Patna are consuming more videos than Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. 

Mobile gaming, the new form of entertainment 

With people spending most of their time indoors following the outbreak of Covid-19, the demand for mobile gaming has seen a huge surge across categories with a 153% growth in usage during the lockdown. The report highlights the high degrees of experimentation among gamers in trying out new games with 41% of them playing three or more games during a day, though the majority of them prefer free-to-play games. This has also resulted in a 26% increase in the overall time spent playing games among users, not just from metros and large cities but from tier 2 and 3 cities as well.  

India is a hotbed for short-form video apps 

The content consumption pattern has evolved a lot through 2020. With a surge in the number of short-form video apps available in the market, this format was quick to gain popularity among most smartphone users. Today, 85% of viewers prefer a video length of 10 minutes or less. In terms of content categories consumed on Roposo, Comedy and Music form the most dominant genre with a combined share of over 50%. The inherent ability of social media platforms to draw large crowds, encouraged by vernacular content and ease of creating, editing and watching has also been the key driver for the success of short videos across the country.  

The report has found that although users in metropolitan cities prefer creating and watching content in English, people speaking in Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Tamil, and Telugu as the first language prefer watching content in their respective regional languages. Interestingly, these short-format videos have seen greater success among users from Delhi, Rajasthan, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh. However, the usage of short video apps is somewhat lower in states such as Manipur, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, and Tripura.

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira is an Indian journalist and editor based in Mumbai. He is the Founding Editor of Digital Creed, which he founded in 2015. A technology buff, former computer instructor, and software developer, Brian has 28 years of journalism experience (since 1994). He is sound and confident about his knowledge of business technology concepts. And he is a believer in continual education/learning. Brian is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines (India). He has written hundreds of technology articles for India's leading newspaper groups such as The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers (among others). And he has conducted more than 300 industry interviews during his journalism career. Brian also writes on Aviation, cybersecurity, startups, and topics directed at small and medium businesses. He achieved certifications from the EC-Council (Certified Secure Computer User) and from IBM (Basics of Cloud Computing). Apart from those, he has successfully completed many courses on Content Marketing and Business Writing. Follow Brian on Twitter (@creed_digital) and LinkedIn. Email Brian at: [email protected]

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