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Changes in media habits and predictions for post-lockdown

On Thursday 11th June, the IPA hosted a webinar on ‘Lockdown Life’, utilising TouchPoints and IPSOS data. The session covered topics including COVID-19 inspired signals, values that are holding over decades, and new changes in people’s habits. We were walked through daily and hourly changes in media consumption for pre and post-COVID-19 before the data is made available to us in September.

Summary of IPSOS insight
IPSOS suggests that there are many COVID-19 inspired ‘signals’, which include a greater need for ‘escapism’ (indicated by the increase in gaming), focus on green energy and the environment, digital acceleration, health and fitness and having a purpose are a few that were mentioned.

IPSOS also suggests that it will be a long time before a ‘new normal’ is created following COVID-19, this is particularly due to people’s values that are much slower to change above attitudes and opinions. The chart below shows how after 10 years, values have held over the medium-term despite considerable events such as Facebook launching and the 2008 financial crisis:

Since lockdown, there have been attitudinal changes. The below chart demonstrates that the UK is starting to feel more relaxed compared to the beginning of the period, and prioritising ‘the now’:

When it comes to media consumption, gaming and social media have ruled lockdown:

  • 18% more time spent watching TV
  • 25% are playing more video games and 3% started playing videogames
  • 48% increase in time spent on social media and online

There has also been a willingness to try new things, with 55% of UK adults believing they will continue these habits after the crisis:

  • 1 in 3 trialled new TV or streaming channels or services
  • 13% started using group video chats
  • 1 in 3 started or have increased the amount of online shopping

When it comes to online services, most have increased since March as you can see below:

To conclude, IPSOS’s post-COVID-19 predictions are:

  • COVID-19 may accelerate tech adoption and proficiency, with 33% having boosted digital skills during lockdown
  • Sporting and large cultural events will increasingly become digital
  • Gaming will grow in popularity, where we will see an increase in gamification within education, home-schooling and in providing a platform for brands to replace face-to-face events

Summary of TouchPoints insight
As expected, travelling has significantly reduced:

  • The number of people commuting each day has decreased by 63% and travelling for any reason has decreased by 59%

Daily habits have shifted:

  • The UK has become ‘lazier’, getting up and ready for 8:30am, instead of 7:30am pre-lockdown.
  • We are spending more time doing housework (19 mins more a day)
  • There is a 30% increase in exercising and a 68% increase in time doing so
  • Cooking has also increased by 13 minutes per day

Shopping habits have changed, with a more cautious approach:

  • The number of people shopping (online or in-person) has dropped 11%
  • There is a 14% decrease in those who do the main shopping and a 19% decrease in those who do top-up shopping

Social media usage has increased during daytime hours, which is consistent with radio also:

Whilst being at home, we are watching more. Most considerably there has been increases in on-demand viewing (across all age groups), and longer online videos on YouTube:


In addition to the above chart, there has been a 13% increase in watching live broadcast TV, a 44% increase in paid for on-demand, and a 27% increase in longer online video (10 mins).

All Response Media viewpoint
With a greater amount of people working from home and being at home, we know that media consumption has increased as expected, and with that comes opportunity…

TV is still a core reaching medium, although there are more reach opportunities than before: the increase in TV viewing has opened pricing and reach opportunities to talk to a wider audience. Similarly, on-demand and YouTube viewing has increased.

The times of daily media consumption has shifted, particularly across social media and radio, where there has been an increase in daytime consumption. Optimisations may differ alongside this shift in viewing and daily habits.

With consumers investing more time in cooking, exercising, housework and gaming, this is likely creating a wider audience to talk to for new products in these categories.

The research indicates there has been a shift in the adoption of technology across all ages. Being digitally accessible and the perception of this, for older generations in particular, is a key consideration.

Although the lockdown data has indicated there are online shopping decreases, ‘fear for the future’ has not shifted according to IPSOS data. Therefore, pricing opportunities and adapting to those ‘at home’ is key.

Additionally, off the back of the current situation, we can also expect new things to impact on consumer behaviour and the media industry between now and the rest of the year. For instance, expecting strong Black Friday offers due to surplus stock, thus creating a more competitive environment and potentially a greater spike than usual in advertising revenue in November.

There is an expectation of media pricing inflation for Q4 this year, due to advertisers pulling budgets during Q2. The travel industry in 2019 equated to 10% of TV advertising revenue (source: Mediatel), therefore the travel industry bouncing back will create additional pressures on pricing.

There is also the potential of a recession due to the reduction of economic activity, affecting both shopping behaviours and media pricing further.

There are more new considerations that brands should keep an eye on and be aware of when creating their marketing plans, while keeping in mind the importance of adapting.

Stay safe and stay in touch with your ARM client teams! For more information on the TV services, we offer click here.