New Delhi: News channels have seen massive increase in viewership during the lockdown period, with overall news consumption registering over 200 per cent growth since January this year, which was before the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
According to data in the fourth edition of BARC-Nielsen report released Thursday, average viewership for TV news saw a massive 219 per cent jump for the week between 4 April and 10 April as compared to average viewership of January this year.
The data also revealed that overall television consumption has grown by 38 per cent to 1.2 trillion minutes in the last few weeks as compared to January.
Viewership figures reveal that business news was the most watched and grew by 66 per cent this week, followed by movies that saw a viewership growth of 73 per cent this week.
The data also showed that news apps surged by 83 per cent among premium viewers and there has been a 28 per cent increase in users per week on news websites and 54 per cent increase in number of visits per week on news websites.
There has been a 75 per cent increase in time spent per user per week on video news by news channels streamed on YouTube, Jio TV, Hotstar and Zee5.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth address on lockdown extension garnered four billion viewing minutes, the highest among his four addresses on Covid-19.
TV news growing over last few weeks
TV news has been garnering massive viewership growth not just this week but over the last month since the lockdown was imposed on 24 March.
For instance, in the week starting 21 March, the news viewership across languages recorded an all time high growth of 298 per cent as compared to the base month of January.
In the same week, the share of news genre on television at all-India level in both prime time and non-prime time grew from 7 per cent in January to 21 per cent, as compared to GEC (General Entertainment Channel) category, which went down to 39 per cent from 52 per cent.
In the very next week from 28 March to 3 April, news viewership across languages recorded a growth of 251 per cent.
Both the earlier weeks had recorded an overall growth of total television viewership as well, in which news consumption had the highest share, followed by movies.
But with the Covid-19 crisis hitting the Indian economy, the growth in television viewership has not been commensurate with the advertisements received by the channels.
Industry body, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Tuesday said news broadcasters are facing instances of advertising inventory being cancelled, with around 50 per cent of it being for top-rated news channels.
DD National continues to be most viewed across genres
The BARC data released Thursday showed that state-run Doordarshan National continued to be the most-watched channel across genres, as it did the previous week, followed by Sun TV and Dangal TV.
As reported by ThePrint last week, the growth was hugely fuelled by the return of classics such as Ramayan, Shaktimaan and Byomkesh Bakshi and the overall rise in TV viewership during lockdown.
The fourth edition of the BARC-Nielsen report also revealed that the percentage duplication for Ramayan was the highest among all Hindi GEC shows, with 73 per cent episodic duplication but 83 per cent weekly duplication. It also said 22 per cent children are watching Ramayan with their grandparents and senior citizens at home.
Mahabharat has also contributed to getting DD Bharati among the top five GECs, with data stating that 25 per cent of the children in the country were watching the series with their grandparents.
According to the data, time spent per user per week on video streaming platforms, including YouTube, grew by 12 per cent in the last week with consumption continuing at 4 hours per week.
Money Heist was the most watched show on Netflix and Mission Mangal on Disney+Hotstar was the top movie this week.