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TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we consume content and engage in conversations. Here's a report from TBWA\India that contains more details.

Our conversations have changed, now that COVID-19 has large parts of the world under lockdown. To gauge how conversations have changed, TBWA\India carried out a social listening activity, observing search trends and conversations between March 16 and April 7, 2020. The observations can be split into three main categories - search trends, conversations across different states of India, and how people are passing time during quarantine.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

Google search trends can broadly be classified into two phases. The first stage was between March 16 and 22, when the virus was spreading so rapidly all over the world that it became nearly impossible to ignore. Indians were curious about the new virus and wanted to understand how they could prepare themselves to tackle the pandemic. This was the time when the search term 'Coronavirus tips' was used over five million times, and 'Janta curfew' saw one million searches. Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor (who tested positive for the virus and came into contact with a large number of people) was searched over two million times.

Search terms from 16-22 March
Search terms from 16-22 March

In the following week, users were settling into the 'new normal' and their interests had shifted. When the lockdown was announced, 'Modi' (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) was the most searched term that day. Both the Coronavirus and Hantavirus were each searched five million times. 'India lockdown' was also searched over three million times.

Search terms from 23-29 March
Search terms from 23-29 March

In the next week, users found solace in entertainment. Netflix's original show 'Money Heist' was searched over 500,000 times.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were the states that led the conversation on the virus.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

Here's a look at the content that generated interest in these states.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

What were some of the things that kept India occupied during lockdown? Working from home came out on top, closely followed by multiplayer games (such as Ludo and Carrom) and other family activities. Traditional hobbies, such as reading and streaming content on OTT, came last.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

Brands also took the opportunity to step forward and offer a host of free and paid services in light of the crisis. Internet providers, like BSNL, offered free work from home plans... Old shows like 'Ramayan' and 'Mahabharat' made a comeback on TV, thanks to national broadcaster Doordarshan - filling the void left by several current daily soaps that have stopped airing. Curated lists of bestsellers across various regional languages have brought reading back in fashion. OTT platforms have announced new seasons of popular shows to entertain their viewers.

TBWA\India releases report on online listening trends in light of COVID-19

Read the full report here.