Coronavirus Changing Media Habits

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The Coronavirus has affected nearly every country in the world. For most countries and people, concerns are focused around prevention and caution to spread the virus. People are suspending unnecessary errands and activities and spending more time staying home. This behavior shift is changing the way media is being consumed, and there are some interesting trends for marketers to take note of.

People are watching more news

COVID-19 news is all encompassing on television and online. comScore reports that time reading news content online has increased by 46% vs this same time last year. The increase in news consumption drives some of the other trends we are seeing: An increase in news content shared on social networks and the need to ease personal anxieties (or boredom) through streaming services.

Social media use is at an all-time high

  • Facebook reported yesterday that usage has increased by 70% globally during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Views on Facebook Live and Instagram have doubled in the past week.
  • Messaging has also increased by 50% and Group Calls have increased by 1,000%.
  • Twitter is experiencing a 23% increase.

Instagram’s new “Co-Watching” feature

Instagram is launching a new feature called “Co-Watching” to help users connect via video chat while they scroll through their feed. Users are also able to share content inside of Instagram. Nothing better than watching my friends passively say “uh huh” as I disrupt their quality time on #DogsofInstagram.

Binge-watching replaces sports

Without sports on television, what to binge is the hot topic du jour  – “Killing Eve”, “Tiger King”, patiently waiting for the next episode of Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”.

Streaming TV is experiencing significant increases in usage in the past 30 days:

  • Disney Plus 44% increase
  • HBO Go 24% increase
  • Netflix 18% increase
  • Hulu 8% increase
  • Amazon Prime 1% increase

E-Commerce Sales Increase

  • Amazon and Walmart will both be hiring over 100,000 warehouse and logistics workers each.
  • In a consumer research study by Izea last week, the potential impacts on households in confinement could be:
    • 79% of consumers with children ages 3-17 at home believe they may purchase home improvement or DIY items online
    • 92% of consumers will purchase groceries online
    • 64% believe their YouTube usage will increase
    • 63% expect their Facebook usage will increase
    • 44% of social media users would consider becoming a social media influencer to earn money for their household during an economic recession

What this means for media

It’s clear that media consumption has shifted during the “shelter in place” phase. Savvy companies that note this trend and adjust their marketing should expect to see lifts in both e-commerce and brand recognition. These companies will also be well positioned once we exit the pandemic with a stronger brand. Accrescent Marketing has helped companies navigate these turbulant times.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to catch up on my #DogsofInstagram.



About the Author:

As President of Accrescent Marketing, Eunice oversees the agency with a hands-on focus for media strategy and analytics. With over X years of experience helping clients in branding and ecommerce, she has garnered the trust of many popular brands including Volkswagen, Cheerios, Revlon and Hot Tools.
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