Advanced Television

Comscore: Spike in local news consumption

March 19, 2020

As the global Coronavirus crisis grows, consumers are making significant changes to the way they interact with content and advertising across platforms.

As the world adjusts to this new reality, Comscore, a partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, says it will be providing ongoing updates on shifting consumption trends and the resulting impact on the advertising and media industries.

Among the key findings from Comscore’s initial research:

  • In a time of crisis, people turn to local news: The top 25 markets registered an 11 per cent increase in viewing for the week of March 9th, compared to the week of Feb. 10.
  • Interest soars for government healthcare information sources: Total digital visits (mobile and desktop) and mobile web-only visits to the CDC, NIH and WHO sites have seen incredible recent growth. Total digital visits were up 425 per cent March 9-15 vs. Jan. 6-12, and the week of March 9-15 was up 79 per cent over the week prior.
  • Pervasive public demand for news: Across 40 select news sites, the week of March 9-15 was the highest week of news visits this year, by far – more than 100 million more news visits than next highest week (which was the previous week March 2-8). We saw 23.4 per cent growth the week of March 9-15 vs. Mar 2-8 and 30.9 per cent growth vs. Jan. 6-12.
  • Spikes for the e-commerce giants as social distancing and local restrictions impact in-store retail: Total digital visits to an aggregate of Amazon, Walmart and Target’s sites registered 779 million visits the week of March 9-15 – the highest number of visits of any week so far in 2020. Comscore data also showed 3.8 per cent growth versus the previous week (and the second highest week-over-week growth of the year with the highest being 4.7 per cent growth the week of Feb. 24 to March 1).
  • Global movement restrictions lead to tumultuous traffic for travel sites: Looking at 20 of the top travel sites, including airlines, aggregators, hospitality, etc., travel visits declined 7.3 per cent the week of Feb. 24 to March 1 and declined again 4.8 per cent the week of March 2-8. However, travel spiked the week of March 9-15, increasing 9.5 per cent. This could be due to a large number of trip cancellations occurring this week requiring visits to the travel sites to rebook or cancel plans. In addition, many major airlines and travel companies began offering inexpensive flights and deals during this time which may have driven some increased demand.
  • Hollywood grapples with the Coronavirus impact on movie-going activity: Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian noted that “It’s so hard to predict how this will play out. It’s an ever-changing, ever-evolving situation that the entire world is trying to wrap their minds around. For the short term, obviously there’s an impact.” Receipts totalled about $55.3 million in US and Canada theatres, according to studio estimates Sunday. Not since 2000 has weekend box office revenue been so low, according to Comscore, when $54.5 million in tickets were sold on a quiet September weekend.


Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Research