Data: Covid-19 reshaping content consumption

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Video advertising platform Unruly has released a study that investigates how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting consumer interests and behaviours.

Results revealed that overall time spent online has dramatically increased in the US – with consumers spending a lot more time than before on their mobile phones (50 per cent), connected TVs (42 per cent) and laptops (35 per cent). Additionally, consumers are spending more time on cooking (64 per cent) and reading (43 per cent).

Consumers’ daily routines in the US have drastically changed, with only 10 per cent continuing on as normal, while 42 per cent are self-isolating and 48 per cent are social distancing. As a result, so has their interest changed in what their advertising experience looks like. 22 per cent of respondents said they want brands to share information on how they are supporting their staff and customers during this time, and 21 per cent want brand advertisements to include information about Covid-19. However, at the same time, 17 per cent of consumers want ads to provide a sense of continuity and normality, while another 17 per cent want ads to be funny/positive in an effort to distract from what’s going on.

Other key findings include:

  • 53 per cent of consumers prefer brands to communicate through TV ads;
  • 62 per cent are spending more time on social media than they used to;
  • Only 22 per cent of consumers are currently watching sports, while 59 per cent are watching comedy;
  • 47 per cent have increased their spending on home entertainment;
  • 35 per cent of consumers are more interested in hearing about online retail (excluding food) than they were before, and 45 per cent say their interest is the same as before
  • 42 per cent of 18-24 year olds would like brands to communicate through online video.

“The pandemic has resulted in rapid, unprecedented changes in consumer behaviours and their preferences,” said Terence Scroope, VP of Insight at Unruly. “The vast majority of consumers still want to see ads, but the key to success is in the content and the way a message is conveyed. The magnitude of these changes require brands to be nimble in adapting their advertising strategies to maintain and grow connections with consumers, provide support and minimise disruption to performance.”

Unruly, which is part of Tremor International, surveyed a total of 2,638  consumers globally in late March 2020 for this study.


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