Matt O’Grady: Covid-19 ~ Increasing Media Consumption

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Matt O’Grady: Covid-19 ~ Increasing Media Consumption

By Matt O’Grady, global commercial president, Nielsen Media, London


Staying put is what’s best for reducing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but home-bound consumers are having an immediate impact on brands. The pull-back on advertising spend will cut expenses in the short term but will affect a brand’s resilience. How can businesses support their brands and make money in such uncharted waters?


Media consumption is increasing. We predict that being home-bound could lead to almost a 60% increase in the amount of video content we watch globally. As each country is at a different stage of responding to COVID-19, TV engagement is varied. But one thing is consistent: time spent per viewer watching news and entertainment is going up as the spread of COVID-19 worsens and isolation becomes the best solution to reducing the spread.


Whilst linear Television audiences are increasing we’re also seeing a surge in online audiences in New Zealand. Media consumption has evolved as consumers seek the latest news and entertainment during an unprecedented period of lockdown; if we look at the average UB’s for New Zealand Unique Browsers for the first and last weeks of March there has been an increase of 37% (across all platforms, however it does not allow for duplication).

Matt O’Grady: Covid-19 ~ Increasing Media Consumption

PDF: Publisher Digital Trends

The sudden pandemic surge in news website audiences is also being reflected across the Tasman; recent Nielsen data released in Australia last week confirms that the average audience of the top ten news websites in Australia has grown by more than half (54%) in the wake of the pandemic. Seven of the top ten online news sites attracted more than 5 million people in the week of March 16-22 March.