Media opportunity amid COVID-19

two cents

WARC Article: Consumers reading more online news and watching more linear TV as COVID-19 spreads.


Given the current environment, there is an increase in linear TV consumption and viewership. Also, according to WARC, many advertisers have hit the 'pause' button and shifting their spend to the second half of the year. The higher viewership combined with many advertisers reducing spend, have driven lower CPM levels (20%~40%) - depending on the properties. These changes to media consumption and reduced cost may persist once the current situation continues - an opportunity for efficient buying by identifying the main properties that deliver the best return in terms of relevance, cost, and scalability.



Linear TV and Online News Viewership On The Rise


Two-fifths (38%) of consumers say they are reading more online news as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is according to a GlobalWebIndex survey of internet users in the UK and US, questioned between the 13th and 16th of March. Further, a greater number of consumers report watching more linear TV (36%) than online TV content (24%), and this is true across all age groups. Over one-quarter are spending longer using social media (27%) and listening to music (26%). Overall, two-thirds (67%) say they have made a significant change to their at home behavior as a result of the coronavirus. This reaches 70% of those in the United States, but drops to just one-half (52%) of the UK.




Age and Media Consumption Trend


Age plays an important role in changing media consumption. Four-fifths (79%) of millennials say they have made a significant change to their at home behavior, compared to just one-third (36%) of Baby Boomers. Buying items online has seen a strong increase among millennials (26%) and Gen X (24%), but far less so among Gen Z (12%) and Baby Boomers (3%). A notable gap also exists for gaming; one-fifth (21%) of Gen Z and millennials are spending longer, more than double the 8% for Gen X and Baby Boomers.


Clapp, Rob. “Consumers reading more online news and watching more linear TV as COVID-19 spreads.” WARC Data Points, March 2020