Coronavirus: Online Services Across Verticals Reap Lockdown Benefit
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Unable to leave their homes owing to the Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, over-the-top (OTT) content apps for entertainment, conferencing apps, as well as fitness and educational firms that offer their services online have seen a massive surge in demand, as per a report by Bobble AI.
The report, based on anonymised and aggregated insights collected on Bobble AI platforms post and during the Coronavirus outbreak in India, found that video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Google Duo and Houseparty have seen a 71.11 per cent increase in time spent while the average user count has risen by over 100 per cent.
As work-from-home has become a norm, the need for video conferencing apps has seen a steady increase. Most notably, for work calls and official webinars, US-based Zoom Video Communications has seen its market valuation rise significantly as companies across the world have turned to its service in these trying times.
In India, Zoom saw a surge of 141.69 per cent in time spent, with an 85.43 per cent increase in engagement rate and a staggering 2542.23 per cent increase in active users, the report said.
Another interesting app to have gained the attention of the relatively younger masses has been Epic Games-owned Houseparty, which allows group video chatting coupled with gaming features. It has seen an increase of 215.97 per cent in time spent, and a spike of 8142.55 per cent in active users.
Social media and messaging apps too have seen a boom. Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter have seen a 46.28 per cent hike in time spent, with a 49.23 per cent increase in engagement. Even daily active users have grown by 29.55 per cent.
Facebook-owned apps WhatsApp and Instagram have seen a 49 per cent and 50.3 per cent increase in engagement respectively.
An obvious section to have benefitted from the lockdown has been OTT apps. According to the report, these platforms have seen a 82.63 per cent increase.
More specifically, streaming services giant Netflix has seen a 110 per cent increase in time spent and more than 50 per cent rise in engagement rate. These numbers could bode well for Netflix in India, where it has come up with lesser-priced plans to cater to what is inarguably an untapped, emerging market. The US-headquartered firm has seen a 54.8 per cent increase in active user count, stated the report.
Prime Video followed close behind on the heels of Netflix with a 98.92 per cent growth in time spent, a 32.75 per cent increase in engagement and a 23.52 per cent rise in daily active users.
To reduce pressure on telecom networks amid this surge, several OTT platforms have already taken measures such as cutting bitrates.
Earlier this month, Disney officially launched its streaming service in India via Hotstar.
Apart from entertainment and apps that help people stay connected, even those in the fitness and education space seem to have gained from the lockdown.
The Bobble AI report found that e-learning platforms have seen an 82.73 per cent increase in time spent, along with a 122.62 per cent increase in engagement.
Several platforms such as Byju's and Toppr have also made several of their offerings free so as to help learners and students during the crisis.
Fitness apps such as Cure.fit and Lose Weight at Home have seen a 39.5 per cent increase in time spent and 14.72% rise in engagement rate, the report found.