News Column

Mobile TV Viewership Rises 65 Percent in India

Dec. 7, 2012

Vidhi Choudhary

Watching television on a mobile device is becoming increasingly more common in India, says an annual consumer survey on mobile usage patterns done by phone company Bharti Airtel Ltd.

The survey, titled "Airtel Mobitude 2012", showed a 65% jump in mobile TV viewership in January-November compared with the same period a year ago, illustrating the growing demand for such services.

The increase was primarily driven by sports television, with viewership of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches increasing 74% during April-May compared with the year-ago period.

"The study brings to light India's increasing dependence on smart devices and data usage as they access a whole host of new services on the go." said N. Rajaram, chief marketing officer at Bharti Airtel.

The spike in mobile television viewership this year follows the advent of 3G services. According to digital media experts, the increase in viewership is also a function of better screen resolution available on low-cost handsets.

Anuj Kumar, co-founder and chief executive of Affle, a digital ad network, said "better data connection and better screen resolution on affordable mobile devices seem to have enabled a better viewer experience".

Mobile Internet consumption also shows greater consumer interest in activities such as social networking, playing games, listening to music, reading news and watching videos.

The survey of the usage by over 186 million mobile phone users -- Bharti Airtel's customer base -- suggests that mobile Internet consumption peaks between 10pm and 11pm at night. Mobile phone users spend the maximum amount of time on social networking site Facebook, according to the survey.

"Social networking is the way content is discovered, so it will continue to lead usage patterns for mobile phones users," said Kumar.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Mint (New Delhi)

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