Report: TV AD volumes in Unlock period surpasses Pre-Covid Volumes by 12%

Impact of COVID-19 on TV viewership

BARC India & Nielsen Media explain ‘Impact Of COVID19 On TV Viewership And Smartphone Behaviour Across India – Edition 11’. 

This is the eleventh edition of the report on ‘Crisis Consumption on TV and Smartphones’ jointly released by BARC India and Nielsen Media.

BARC India is the official currency on Television Measurement in India and Nielsen Media runs a 12,000 strong smartphone panel in India passively capturing smartphone behavior.


BARC India Nielsen Smartphone Panel
Coverage All India (Urban + Rural) All India (Urban 1 Lakh plus)
TG ALL NCCS 2+ years 1.          NCCS ABC 15-44 years
  2.         Android Smartphone Users
Time Period PRE COVID  – 11th Jan 2020- 31st Jan 2020 PRE COVID –  13th Jan 2020 – 2nd Feb 2020


Also Read: Unlock 1.0 saw FMCG industry clocking growth of 4.5% versus a year ago: Nielsen…

Some of the Key Highlights of TV and Smartphone consumption are as follows: –

  1. Total TV viewership has shown consistent growth in the last 12 weeks – Current week Daily Average Reach is 7% higher and Average, Daily Time Spent is 13% higher than the pre-COVID period.
  2. Growth in the current week vs pre-COVID period is seen across both Primetime (3%) and Non-Primetime(44%) and also across HSM and South markets.
  3. Overall smartphone usage is slightly lower than pre-COVID levels. The drop in recent weeks is on account of time on banned apps getting reduced.
  4. On TV, the share of the different genres is more or less back to pre-COVID levels – Original programming bringing back the GEC genre both in HSM and South Markets; News and Movies see growth in Primetime.
  5. On Smartphones – revival was seen in shopping (surpasses Pre-COVID levels in recent weeks), Education and Video Conferencing continue to grow – almost 1 in 5 people accessing them, Overall time spent on Video Streaming returns to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Independence Day event garnered 4.6 BN viewing minutes – highest viewership in the last 2 years – also higher than all the previous PM addresses during COVID.
  7. Live Telecast of Ayodhya Bhoomi Pujan garnered 7.3 BN viewing minutes.
  8. On Content viewed on Smartphones – Sushant Singh starrer “DilBechara” tops Movie Charts in Week 1 of release, followed by action thriller “Khuda Hafiz”, “Mastram” continues to top the Original Series charts, followed by “Bandish Bandits”, “Dangerous” & “Aarya”, Share of time spent on Syndicated series on OTT increases as new programming resumes.
  9. AD Volumes in Unlock period surpassed Pre-COVID Volumes by ~12% – Top 10 Advertiser inventory increased by 34% in the Unlock period compared to Pre COVID period.

View the full report here:



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