Home / Industry / News consumption on mobile devices picking up pace in India

New Delhi: News consumption on mobile devices seems to be picking up rapidly in India, a trend which is quite similar to that in the US. Digital news companies like Scroll and The Quint are generating about 60% of their user traffic on smartphones.

“General traffic trends show that not just new but even traditional media portals are seeing substantial traffic from mobile devices. While desktop usage for legacy media websites would be high, mobile traffic is significantly growing at a higher pace than desktop traffic quarter on quarter," said Ritu Kapur, co-founder and managing director of The Quint, a start-up founded by former managing director of Network 18, Raghav Behl.

She said the rise in traffic to news sites is also coming in through social media sites.

Scroll, which started in February last year, has clocked about two million unique visitors in April. Samir Patil, CEO of Scroll, said this is because India is a mobile-first country.

“Social media is the biggest application for Internet in India and mobile is the biggest access point. In the last three years, Facebook subscribers jumped from 15 million to over 115 million now. This added to the growth of smart phones from 10 million to 80 million. 60% of our traffic comes from mobile since day 1," he said.

In the US at the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites attracted more traffic to their sites and associated applications from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s The State of the News Media 2015 report.

The rise in mobile consumption is also being accelerated by the increasing adoption of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“In tandem with the growth of mobile has been the further rise of the social web, where the flow of information embodies a whole new dynamic. Research revealed that nearly half the web-using adults reported getting news about politics and government in the past week on Facebook," the report stated.

Kapur said that about 45% of Quint’s traffic is via Facebook.

With growing traffic on mobile phones, the digital ad revenue growth from the devices has grown 30% to 50% globally. “With users moving en masse to mobile, as on The Quint, advertisers are sure to see the trend and exploit it," Kapur said.

Digital advertising revenue is expected to grow 37% to 4,661 crore in 2015. It will account for 9.51% of the total ad spending in 2015, up from 7.8% in 2014, according to a report by media buying agency GroupM, part of WPP Inc.

Scroll’s Patil said that site will start advertising on its platform before the end of the June quarter.

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