How Lockdown influenced readership patterns

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BY ADITI ROY

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) As the third phase of the nationwide lockdown draws to a close, latest data suggest there has been a significant change in people’s reading patterns.
There is a surge in readership around subjects like automotive, home loans, security of video conferencing applications, and remote learning for students stuck at home, says a trend report by discovery platform Taboola.

What is India reading?

There is an increase in traffic about topics such as health insurance and bank loans in the past few weeks in India as people’s finances have been impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus situation. The long period of staying home has also opened opportunities for shopping online, these indicators offer deeper insights to brands seeking opportunities to reach out to products and services related to indicated trends.

Readership trends in the past seven weeks, since 23 March 2020, the day lockdown started are as follows:

Automotive: Interestingly, people are still reading about new car models during this time even though it is unclear whether they will commit to purchasing a vehicle.
Security issues with video conferencing apps: Traffic to articles about security issues related to video conferencing apps increased 161 percent during this period.
Online Learning: Pageview to articles about online learning for students increased 38 per cent during this period especially as schools are closed and students are doing classes at home.
Taxes: Income tax filing season has been extended and there has been an increase in traffic related to articles about income tax, and the Taboola Network recorded 2.6M page views on this topic.
Finance: Articles about loans recorded 1.2M pageviews. Articles about home loans, personal loans and business loans have seen a 291 per cent increase in pageview traffic this month.
Technology: In the last month, pageview traffic to articles about the Apple iPhone increased 25 per cent The Taboola Network recorded 8.3M pageviews about stories related to this topic.
Immunity Boosting Foods: Pageview traffic to articles about how to boost immunity, and recipes involving turmeric have seen a 39 per cent increase in pageview traffic. The Taboola Network recorded 5.6M pageviews about stories related to health benefits of turmeric and recipes for immunity-boosting foods.
The latest data shared by relates to COVID-19, revealing shifts in how readers are consuming content during the lockdown which also impact various brand strategies and how advertisers plan their future budget spend during and post pandemic.

(Aditi Roy can be contacted at aditi.r@ians.in)

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