Books, religion, fitness & home decor: Here's what world spent its lockdown time on

ComScore tracks four unexpected digital content trends of life during pandemic

e4m by Dipali Banka
Updated: Jun 23, 2020 7:18 PM

When avenues to keep one’s mind involved on the outside become limited, one tends to look inwards, re-assess and self-contemplate. This basic human nature came to the fore, revealing some unexpected uplift in categories when ComScore tracked digital content between January to April 2020 period in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Alex Gevers, Senior Insights Manager, ComScore points our these categories on his blog on the company website as being – increased interest in books, increase in time spent on sites or apps in the ‘Religion/Spirituality’ category, increased interest in matters about health and fitness and lastly increased time spent on home improvement and decoration sites, however India saw a few exceptions.
Alex Gevers terms the time period between January to April 2020 as DC (During Coronavirus) era, BC as Before Coronavirus and AC as After Coronavirus.
Increased interest in books:
“At a time when the range of media and entertainment that provides 24/7 instant gratification seems endless, a surprising trend is the increased interest in books,” says Gevers on the blog. Time spent per visitor on book retail sites and apps increased significantly in most APAC countries. Global players such as and Google Play Books captured significant share of activities while local players dominated market in some countries like China and Japan. Singapore topped the list touching 193 minutes per visitor index in April 2020 from 100 in January 2020. India saw a marginal increase from time spent of 100 in January 2020 to 102 in April 2020.

‘Religion/Spirituality’ category 
Time spent on sites or apps in the ‘Religion/Spirituality’ category increased in most countries in Asia-Pacific region. It was captured by sites aligned with country’s dominant faith. Australia saw maximum increase in time spent, followed by Hong Kong and then India.

Health & Fitness
With the exception of India and Japan, time spent on fitness and diet-related sites or apps increased significantly. “This is perhaps related to the fact that India implemented a strict nationwide lockdown during the month of April 2020. Similarly, Japan declared a state of emergency on April 7, 2020. Note that this category includes both fitness-related apps, such as StepSetGo in India, as well as sites such as Women's Health Magazine in Australia,” says Gevers on the blog.

Home Improvement
Time spent on home improvement and decoration sites or apps increased significantly in January to April 2020. Examples include Impiana in Malaysia, in China, or Houzz in India. Taiwan topped the list followed by Australia.

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