Apps Currying Favour With Indian Consumers

David Murphy

80 per cent of Indian smartphone users are using apps, with music, maps, and social media ranking among the top app categories, according to the findings of a study conducted by TNS and Zokem in India.

The two companies have teamed up to build and run mobile audience measurement panels in the country, which they say is the world’s fastest growing smartphone market. In the near future, many Indians will gain their first access to the internet through their smartphones. In order to measure smartphone usage, including mobile advertising and content consumption, TNS and Zokem have launched a set of research solutions, based on Zokem’s on-device metering solutions that capture passively all mobile usage as it takes place in people’s everyday life.

The respondent panel’s user experience and behaviour is tracked and metered with a research application located on the device that panel members are using.
Based on the data collected from the mobile metering panel in India, in addition to voice and messaging, Indian smartphone users seem to be heavily geared towards music, with 75 per cent saying they have used music services; maps (41 per cent); social networking (36 per cent); and instant messaging (35 per cent).

“The ranking of apps is not completely surprising to us, though it is interesting to see that music is so much ahead of other apps”, says TNS India’s Devdarshini Mhatre.“What is quite surprising, however, is that most people still prefer text messaging over email, with less than 20 per cent of smartphone users using email on a monthly basis,whereas the claimed usage is much higher.”

Zokem CEO Hannu Verkasalo says the Indian market holds great potential. “The mobile usage patterns in India are, in fact, much different from the ones in Europe and the US,” says Verkasalo. “As mobile subscribers are increasingly starting to adopt new mobile applications and access content on their mobiles, it is very important to be present and capture that usage. With our MediaTracker solution, we are collecting and analyzing a rich set of that data, and with TNS’s long experience in India, we have found it to be a highly valuable partner in deploying this new approach of measuring mobile consumption.”