During the coronavirus pandemic, many aspects of life changed around the world. While many people were suffering and struggling to deal with a new situation, some individuals also changed their media consumption. Therefore, the impact of Covid-19 on the media has been significant. The reports are just being released now on how drastically some populations shifted their digital media usage in Covid-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, several researchers have studied how media consumption has changed and how different populations have responded to the challenges presented to society. However, the real question is, what is the role of media during Covid-19? Let’s discuss how consumption has changed and looked into more digital marketing and how this was affected this year!
Covid-19 and Its Impact on Digital Media Consumption in the United States
It’s true: Americans were among the most prominent media users during the 2020 pandemic and even into 2021. People began to turn their attention to other news sources rather than their traditional ones. This meant that while many people were turning away from broadcast television, they turned to other sources such as social media. The Covid-19 impact on digital media for Americans was only further to increase their use overall.
Social media became the primary source of news for many individuals around the country and the world. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram got way more attention than usual because they were so instantaneous, and many people were able to get their short clips of what they needed about the news for the day.
Interestingly enough, TikTok was ranked the highest used social media platform in 2020. They even came in just under YouTube, Google, and Instagram for 2021 and their budgets for the upcoming year. Thus, digital media is more critical during Covid-19 because many users are now turning to these platforms.
E-Commerce Was the Favored Method
While many people were stuck and forcing the lockdowns to stop the pandemic, there was also a significant change in spending their money. With fewer people leaving the house, many people found that they were not using the stores and were not going out as regularly as they used to. So instead, they turned to e-commerce.
These jobs took some of the stress off of many individuals worldwide, especially in the States. As an industry, e-commerce grew $900 billion through online retailers that many individuals used to get necessities. All of this happened due to sheltering in place, and many people assume that this might be the way of the future.
It was very mixed across the several different generations, which was affected the most by that is. From Boomers to Gen Z, many individuals found themselves in a unique position. However, some individuals, such as the Millennials, surprised researchers with how much their media consumption would change. Here are some of how media consumption varies per population and how this is important to the future.
Generation Z: More Screen Time
Generation Z is the youngest of all of them, and they are likely the most expected to increase their use of the media over this time. This is precisely what happened. Generation Z was well-known for growing media consumption, particularly in their use of podcasts, video games, and even online videos.
Compared to April 2020 and at the end of 2020, Generation Z increased their use of podcasts by 14.9%, their usage of video games by 12.2%, and music streaming by 6.6%. Many individuals also found that they watched much less TV, while some of the individuals recorded in the survey said they were watching 7.1% less television than usual. However, this was quickly replaced by sources such as online TV or online videos, which respectively increased by 2.2% for online TV and 7.7% for online videos.
Overall, Generation Z is the one population expected to increase their media consumption because they relied on social media as a whole. This is because they were born into the expectation of social media being their way of life. However, others, such as Millenials, have a significantly different response and relationship to the press, which will be explored next.
Millennials: Less Is More
Born in the early days of the internet and before the rise of social media, Millennials had far less consumption than people expected in their media. This can be attributed to the fact that many of them ended up working a lot more or had to put themselves in challenging positions to ensure they were financially accounted for throughout this year.
Reports recorded a 5.4% increase in the number of podcasts that Millenials listened to, but they saw a 2.5% decrease in the number of video games that the population played. Surprisingly, there was also a 7.2% decrease in music streaming and an 11.1% decrease in TV consumption.
This is interesting because Millennials were born in this unique era of time, which indicates that they did not turn to social media but other sources. One of the primary substitutes for their media consumption was investing more time in reading novels.
Millennials also decreased their online TV use by 3% and their use of online videos by 2.4%. This proved further that they turned to other traditional media, such as books, rather than succumbing to the news and airing TV channels. With Millennials, they demonstrated that less was more during the pandemic.
Before Millennials, they were Generation X. Similar to the Millennials, Generation X’s consumption changed in unique ways. They saw significant decreases in the amount of media they used for consumption, except podcasts. On the other hand, podcasts saw a 2.2% increase because of the number of people who wanted to see what was happening worldwide and invest in educational pursuits.
Comparatively, there was a 3.6% decrease in video game usage, a 7.9% decrease in music streaming, a 16.6% decrease in TV news, and so much more. Thus, generation X saw little benefit in paying attention to these new sources and likely turned away from them in the same manner that the Millenials did. However, they were aware of what would keep them busy and give them more concern.
Additionally, Generation X saw a significant decrease in online TV usage by 10.9% and a 14.9% decrease in online videos. Generation X believes in finding a more alternative route for media consumption, like the Millenials. Still, it also proves that perhaps the younger generation, such as Generation Z, was highly invested in the media because they were born into it. Others like Millennials and Generation X found it to be too challenging to listen to during this time.
Boomers: Bye, Bye TV!
Baby boomers are one of the most famous generations today, and they also saw a significant change in media consumption during this period. However, Boomers had a mixed response. They did not respond like Millennials or Generation Z, but they did have notable changes to their media consumption.
Boomers had probably the most limited response to the situation, with a 3.5% increase in podcast usage, -1% change in video game usage, and a 0.7% increase in the amount of music they streamed. The most significant change for Baby Boomers negatively was through broadcasting TV. There was a 5.6% drop in the number of individuals who use TV during this time.
However, there was only a half percent decrease to deduce the number of people using online TV. This was quickly replaced with online videos, which was a 6.6% consumption increase.
Overall, it’s clear that many of these individual populations, like the Boomers, had their reasons for changing their media consumption. However, it’s essential to recognize that some generations shy away from the news during this time. Yet, others dive deeper into the content to stay up-to-date with what was happening.
Most Trusted and Least Trusted News Sources
In years past, the traditional new sources were often the most trusted because they were, as stated, news channels. However, this has completely changed in recent years, and during the pandemic, there were some significant changes in where people found their news and what they felt to be the most trustworthy for media consumption.
Across all generations of individuals that participated in the survey, people were more likely to use government websites, the World Health Organization, and even scientific articles to get their news. They were even more willing to watch CNN or Fox News, some of the most popular news stations in the United States of America.
People found more reliance on science to prove the existing trust that the government was trying to communicate, rather than just believing in the news. As a result, people were more willing to do their research and invest time to make sure they were making the right decision for themselves.
The least trusted news sources for people in the United States were posts on social media, foreign government websites, physical magazines or even newspapers, and news bulletins. The impact of Covid-19 on print media has been negative. Many people were fearful of these because of the misinformation that was going around, and rightfully so. Surprisingly, international news was not as trusted, even though they used the same information to communicate to their citizens during the pandemic.
International Consumption Changes
Media changes were not just in the United States but also around the world. However, it’s essential to know the United States saw a 215% increase in the regular media consumption that individuals use daily. Compared with other nations, these numbers are significantly different from international data and how this changed for other countries.
For example, Italy saw a 180% increase in the amount of news that their individuals intake regularly. In Thailand, it was 125%, while Japan saw 78% increases in their population. In Australia, surprisingly enough, there was only a 52% increase in the amount of news being read by the citizens. Overall, it was an international trend for people to buy online, as has been previously discussed four the entire industry for e-commerce. For those who want to see improvements in their future sales, it is time to go online. The impact of Covid-19 on digital marketing has been significant and only further pushes people to turn to these sources for success.
Conclusion: The Importance of Digital Media During Covid-19
It’s hard to say what might happen in the future, but many people expect that these changes will not be temporary but of the norm. Therefore, the fight for individuals to get the correct information to move past misinformation will continue a significant problem.
The impact of digital media during Covid-19 was more beneficial than harmful because many people felt that they were getting the proper research to make sure that they heard what needed to be said. However, it also points to how people can see what this means for the future and how much people of future generations will consume as they grow up.
There are many ways to demonstrate the impact of Covid-19 on media and digital marketing. People are more reliant on social media and online channels now than they ever have before. Digital marketing, more so than in years past, is how many people can genuinely connect with their customers.
This is a significant change compared to what has happened, so many companies need to turn digital marketing to their use. If individuals see just how much is happening on the e-commerce platforms and how much social media can make a difference, their businesses could grow significantly.
As long as you find the right digital marketing agency, you can take advantage of the impact of digital media consumption during Covid-19. Knight Digital Media is here to help you transition to online platforms seamlessly and with results that will further benefit your future efforts. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your marketing needs.