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Data bills are rising due to video ads but consumers are unaware: Study

Image Credit: Flickr User Thomas Hobbs under CC BY-SA 2.0


At least 8 out of 10 (81%) smartphone users in India spend below Rs. 500 a month on mobile data and 64% of them limit themselves within Rs. 300 per month, suggested a study conducted by VoIP calling app nanu. The study, which had participation from 14,154 users in India also showed that 35% of users did not bother to click on video ads, but still noticed an increase in data billing

The study claims that 64% of Indian users indicated an increase of more than 10% in their data charges, and 21% noticed an unlikely surge of more than 50% in their data cost. However, the study does not mention how the users were able to note the surge in data billing. MediaNama has written to the company for more clarity and will update the story when we hear from nanu. “The respondents have responded keeping in view of a similar usage pattern and they have witnessed an increase, gradual or sudden, in their data spending. The trend has been determined after studying their usage pattern against data spend for the past 6 months,” said Martin Nygate, Founder and CEO, nanu in a statement to MediaNama

Most users are not aware of video ads consuming data

Most smartphone users in India are not aware about their data consumption source as 42% of Indian users are not aware of video ads that consume data even if they are not clicking on it, according to the study. Furthermore, 25% of Indians are somewhat aware of the situation and upset by the brands consuming data through video adverts. Interestingly, only 17% of Indians are broadly aware of this, but never considered its impact on their mobile data expenses.

However, a majority (89%) of Indians have shown reluctance towards consistently clicking on mobile video adverts, while 35% prefer to stay away from clicking video ads; 54% prefer selective clicking on video ads.

Adblockers in India: Even after experiencing higher data billing due to video ads, only 10% of Indians have installed adblocking software in their phones. However, the findings of this study does not correlate to an earlier study by PageFair which said that 122 million users in India were actively using mobile browsers with built-in ad blocking, as of March 2016. India stood second among the 17 countries identified by the PageFair study.

“With mobile advertising growing exponentially, there is an increasing possibility of consumers facing hidden data charges without their knowledge. Excessive competition amongst marketers to promote their brands in order to get ‘top of the mind’ has resulted in uncontrolled usage of consumers’ data. It’s important that marketers become more responsible towards their consumers and engage in non-intrusive ways of mobile advertising to prevent consumers’ data from getting consumed involuntarily.,” said Mr. Martin Nygate, Founder & CEO, nanu

State-wise spends on mobile data

-Himachal Pradesh emerged as the top state spending extensively on mobile-data  with  34% smartphone users spend more than Rs. 500 every month

-At least 34%of users from Bihar and Jharkhand noticed more than 50% surge in their data cost. Again the study does not mention how the users were able t note these changes.

-More than 45% of users from Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Kerala indicated their ignorance on video adverts consuming data

– 44% of users from Chhattisgarh have shown immense annoyance with the unwanted data cost, forced on them

Image Credit: Flickr User Thomas Hobbs under CC BY-SA 2.0

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