As Covid-19 cases soar globally, there is a real uncertainty that is felt across the globe. This pandemic has not only confined everyone to their houses but has also knocked down once thriving businesses instantly. Industries are adapting to the knock-on effects of this global pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 is widespread, it has disrupted consumer behavior worldwide, and it will shape business and consumer behavior for months to come. The time that consumers would have normally spent in malls or events, is now being spent on the couch. Even though government enforced restrictions have slowly begun lifting globally, there is still palpable fear amongst the masses to venture outwards till the inevitable end to all this emerges – The Vaccine.
While consumer behaviour has shifted towards value and essentials, consumer media consumption has also seen a massive change during this disruptive and ongoing pandemic. There is a substantial increase in the vast amounts of media being consumed. For media sellers, this resulted in increasing audiences and Ad buyers. In fact, latest video benchmarks show share of impressions on mobile and desktop remain strong suggesting a split of viewing across devices. Which is an important development. What would have been considered a one-sided debate, mobile devices, coupled with faster, stronger connectivity, OTT platforms and all possible applications for media consumption, mobile device content consumption has risen three-fold. Mary Vestewig, ER’s Senior Director for Video Account Management, Aptly says, “Shifts in viewing habits are certainly impacting how consumers are interacting with both Content & Ads across devices. As schools begin to reopen and online activities across all generations respond, we’ll be closely monitoring trends in our data”. Consumers are now suddenly facing a good dilemma of having the option to choose between all media devices for entertainment, whenever they choose. While the media industry is hard at work reevaluating marketing strategies, given the rapid shift that has occurred in the daily lives of consumers and businesses, let’s take a look at some major factors that have contributed to this media disruption.
TV Unites families – yet again!
The TV has yet again become every family’s uniting entertainment unit, to watch traditional broadcast and cable, stream video, or play video games. In countries like the US, primetime viewing was down 1.5% in April vs. the previous month. In that same time period, whole-day viewing was up 9.6% across all linear TV, and 10.2% for basic (non-premium) cable networks. This surge in overall time spent with linear TV is likely the product of increased daytime viewing, meaning that Americans are tuning out linear programming at night and likely opting for streaming content on OTT/CTV instead. Consumers are now getting over the craze of prime-time television as now they can tune in at their own convenience. At the same time, a lot of Sports broadcasters and new shows have had to bear the brunt of no studio/airing time. As lockdown grips nations around the globe, it is mainly news and updates that rules the roost across generations. For media sellers, this means audiences are growing, and for ad buyers, reaching their desired and highly engaged audience has never been easier. It is interesting to consider the potential long-term impact recent lockdown measures will have on TV consumption, given that they have introduced large numbers of consumers to pay-tv services that might otherwise not have considered them.
The Digital Education Revolution
There was a time when education being imparted through any other medium other than books and classrooms was considered to be a waste of time due to fickle human attention. Hence, when we take education into account, starting from kids to upskilling professionals, the education industry has taken a turn for the good. This industry has evolved to such an extent that even during cash strapped times, EdTech and Remote Learning technologies have managed to raise substantial amounts of funding. Schools have shut globally, keeping around 1.2 billion students out of their classrooms. As a result, there has been a distinctive rise in e-learning on digital platforms. It’s become a new normal to have kids stuck on the Mobile Screens/PC’s/Tablets during their school times, consuming content. Many countries are tapping so-called ‘universal service funds’ to quickly pay for expanding connectivity to learners at home.
The Rise of Video Conferencing and Webinars
The pandemic has created a situation in which it is impossible to conduct in-person meetings or presentations. As a result, marketing activities have shifted to online platforms. Video Conferencing and Webinars existed way before the pandemic but became saviors for millions during the lockdown. The use of webinars has increased double fold, as in 3 out of 4 businesses have already replaced their in-person meetings. Webinars are filling the gap as a means to demonstrate technology and services, alongside highlighting critical industry best practices. There was already a rise in the popularity of Webinars among marketers, but thanks to the COVID scenario, it has become one of the most important marketing tools. Experts suggest that once the dust settles, we would be looking at a hybrid model of meetings/presentations.
The Resurgence of Multiplayer Gaming
The lockdown resulted in a surge of social gaming apps, which was seen as a way of filling the void of being unable to go out and hang out with friends. For instance, Ludo King emerged as the leader in gaming apps with 37.5 percent of people claiming to have played Ludo King at least once during the period of lockdown. Warzone, a free-to-play mode that was added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in March saw the game’s monthly users rise to 62.7 million, an increase of 159%. The basic idea of immersive gameplay is to forget your current environment. But if you are already in a forgettable environment, not being able to meet your loved ones due to social distancing, sparring with them in a virtual environment is the silver lining amongst a large audience.
The Substantial shift towards Streaming
One thing that’s for sure, and won’t come as a surprise, is that people globally are using streaming services at home more now than before the COVID-19 outbreak. With the focus of the media industry radically shifting towards on-demand content rather than linear broadcasting, this pandemic has really underlined the increasing popularity of OTT platforms and online content distributors. A survey from Nielsen shows that since Coronavirus and social distancing began, the amount of video content consumed globally has increased by 60 percent. Average hours spent watching CTV (Connected TV, TVs that connect to the internet either directly or through a device) in the U.S. peaked in the weeks from March 23 to April 12 at 3.9 hours per day.
While humanitarian and safety aspects of the pandemic are still the primary reason, factors like lockdowns, social distancing, and other unprecedented events have also had a significant impact on global media consumption. Irrespective of the type of content consumed, the reliance on devices during the pandemic has increased. In such times, there is absolutely no room for error when it comes to maintaining 100% uptime and seamless content distribution. We at Sumasoft have witnessed a large volume of remote technical support and monitoring services during this pandemic. We offer end-to-end Remote Monitoring as well as Management Services at the most market competitive price. We work as the backbone to your organization ensuring a stable IT environment for the workforce. With terabytes of data and content being distributed across the world wide web on a dynamic basis, we believe in creating a strong backend support system to make sure that any critical infrastructure doesn’t crash. Our wide range of tech support services includes Server monitoring services, Infrastructure monitoring systems, Network monitoring service, Network operation center services, Security operation center services, Remote diagnostic services, Database monitoring services.