8% spike in weekly TV viewing during COVID-19 lockdown: Publicis study

Time spent on OTT & entertainment platforms has risen by 34%, according to Publicis Groupe’s latest report ‘Reboot To A New Normal’

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 2:06 PM
Publicis Groupe

 There has been an 8% spike in the weekly TV viewing from 887 billion minutes pre-COVID-19 to 959 billion minutes during the pandemic, says Publicis Groupe’s latest report ‘Reboot To A New Normal’. The detailed study on the consumption patterns, media usage, purchase behaviour and overall marketing & brand trends in India also revealed a significant jump in time spent on OTT, entertainment and gaming platforms during the COVID-19 outbreak in India.

The report examines the impact of the government lockdown on business, consumer sentiment & behaviour, and the response of brands. These changes, the study reiterates, are not transient in nature and may stay back for a longer period of time. The study has been focused on the Indian market, drawing comparisons from those of US, Europe & APAC. The insights of the study offers brands a perspective for what lies ahead in the coming months.

Anupriya Acharya, CEO, Publicis Groupe, South Asia says: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that uncertainty has become the norm for brands and businesses across sectors and geographies. Publicis Groupe, through this report, offers some of our latest insights tracing the evident change in consumer behaviour, resilience, and solidarity among brands in these times, conceivable future implications and the reboot in brand response to that.   

Most certainly, only the ones who imbibe this change, and more importantly, lead it, will emerge stronger. We look forward to and promise sharing the quest for the new normal, evolving businesses and robust communities.”

The social distancing measures and fear-driven decision making have dictated many of the changes during the lockdown period. TV is on the rise, with news, religious programming and children’s shows have seen the highest spikes in viewership. Ratings that had waned in the last couple of years have seen a sudden increase. “There has been an 8% spike in weekly TV viewing from 887 billion minutes pre-COVID19 to 959 billion minutes during the pandemic,” says the report.

School closure has led to an increase in recreational time and gaming has seen a 41% increase between March 1 to March 21, 2020. Viewership of kids channels has risen by 20% compared to the pre-COVID period. 

Time spent on entertainment & OTT is up by 34%. In the fortnight leading up to March 21, there has been a 20% jump in video consumption on OTT platforms.

Digital has been leading the way with online news becoming the de facto source of information. Between March 16 and 22, there has been a whopping 61% increase in visits to websites, mobile apps, compared to a month ago. Regional publications have also experienced a 50% increase in demand. The report opines that publications should shift focus on digital operations, as its increasingly uncertain whether consumers will still subscribe to physical copies.

Not surprisingly, government content related to health-related news is the most consumed in the content category.

Digital media and personalised brand building activities have replaced the sales-driven ALT techniques for brands, according to the report. Brands are becoming agents of change. Viacom ‘s #PauseForACause campaign focusing on care-givers,  Bajaj Alllianz’s #DooriHaiZaroori campaign on social-distancing,  Jeep’s  Explore The Great Indoors campaign on staying safe and indoors, and  Zee’s  #BreakTheCoronaOutbreak campaign urging viewers to wash hands and maintain hygiene are some examples of brands delivering positive messages and PSA-style information to earn a share of voice.

 The crisis has accelerated technology adoption & automation trends that were growing in India. Way forward, digital entertainment and digital commerce will become the order of the day, says the study.

 The report also offers brands techniques to navigate the changes, some of which includes investing in communication, looking out for audience growth and rebalancing media plans.

With content consumption set to rise, brands are creating content relevant to their consumer, in areas such as health, fitness, DIY, food, mental health and entertainment. Brands can weather the current conditions by creating relevant content, developing an omnichannel strategy,  addressing consumer anxiety through positive messaging,  re-aligning brand and media strategy in line with consumer trends, using media in agile ways.

To read the full report, click here.

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