Media Consumption During COVID-19

Schools are closed, colleges are moving to online learning, essential employees are working overtime, and many people are adjusting to working remotely. Whether you decide to view the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reflect and reset, or as an impediment to normal life, it’s disrupting our routines in a major way.  

One thing is certain: we are all increasing our media consumption. Online gaming replaces live sports streaming, video streaming services are growing their subscriber base, and trusted digital publishers are seeing increased traffic — some even offering their premium content for free. Companies have extended goodwill efforts by removing paywalls for services such as online workouts, news and information on the virus, and streaming concerts.  

Check out how COVID-19 concerns have impacted consumption trends in some of the following ways:


Artists such as Diplo, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles and more are live streaming concerts and ‘world tours’ on Instagram and YouTube. Hulu, HBO, and Vizio Inc. have also reported an increase in views on their streaming services including 250,000 new Netflix subscribers in just one weekend, and a whopping 61.5% of sports superfans who have subscribed to at least one streaming service. Another rising trend is the use of ‘search and discovery’ tabs. This is highly correlated to sports fans who are searching for new content. 

Video Views 

Twitch, a streaming service by Amazon, has reported a 12% increase in daily concurrent users since this time last year as well as a 12% rise in video streams. With this, hours streamed has increased by 15% in only three days. The number of new Twitch channels created has jumped 3.3% this month, as people are looking to leverage this time of unprecedented viewership. Health-related content is performing exceptionally well, like a YouTube video on how to make your own hand sanitizer: views on this particular video have increased from 50 views per hour to 1,200 views per hour in recent weeks. 

Social Media 

Facebook outlined in a blog post that messaging through the app has risen over 50% along with video calling on Messenger. Users are still suspicious of social media’s role in spreading misinformation and fear tactics, though. Sources claim that drama and hyperbole are rewarded on social channels.

Email Activity 

We’ve also seen increased phishing efforts during this time of crisis. There has been a significant rise in COVID-19-related domain names being registered, and the majority of them are scams. 

Website Traffic

Verizon has reported a 22% increase in web traffic in just one week amidst the Coronavirus. The same article reported a 12% increase in streaming demand, and a 75% increase in gaming. They emphasize the importance of network connection during these high volume times. 

What This Means for Your Business

What’s especially notable about all of this is that not all media consumption shifts were centered around entertainment. As we could have suspected, trusted digital publishers are seeing more traffic, broadcast news remains popular, and in-person interactions are being replaced by social media. 

Check out our COVID-19 resource center to learn more about what steps your business can take to communicate during these uncertain times.

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