Captive Audience: Media Consumption Rises Sharply During COVID-19

3 Ways You Can Use Data in Paid Media

Never has a captive audience been so literally ‘captive’

As people around the globe do their part to make sure they and their families are safe, the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic starts to set in and a “new normal” starts to become apparent.

With many Americans working from home with no ability to drop into bars or restaurants, no events to attend— or even watch—it leaves businesses large and small faced with the same question.  How do we market to our audience in the wake of this “new normal”?

The good news is the ability to speak to your audience when they have few other distractions is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  Many Americans are now spending their new-found freetime on laptops, tablets, cell phones and TV.

People are hungry for news and starving for entertainment and all of this activity is changing media consumption numbers drastically.

TV/Radio-Ratings Increasing Exponentially

  • Daytime TV viewership is up 121% and Cable News daytime viewership is up 347%. The biggest gains were at CNN, up 564%, and MSNBC, up 563%[1] Comcast noted that linear video consumption has risen by 4 hours to 64 hours per week.[2]
  • TV ratings and viewership benefit from people staying home as they are tuning into news and streaming programming.
    • Last week, top markets saw a 22% – 50% increase in total TV usage.
    • Live streaming across YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Mixer grew by more than 66% in Italy between the first week of February and this past week.[3]
  • Radio Listenership up across all dayparts with 82%[4] of survey respondents engaging with media more over the course of the pandemic[5]
  • Streaming showed a 39% increase in daytime viewership as daytime became the new primetime for viewing.[6]
3 Ways You Can Use Data in Paid Media

The need for human interaction and all the extra time people have on their hands has also resulted in unprecedented numbers for digital, social and internet usage.

Marketing Doctor employees and Holyoke SPorting Goods Owner, Betsy Frey

Digital/Social/Online – Engagement Increases

  • Google searches are up 8x, according to Google Trends data.
  • Total views of local news on Facebook have risen 247% and Twitter viewer engagement is up 196%.[7]
  • Unprecedented volumes of conversations happening every second on social media platforms[8]
  • Spike in audience reach with the frequency of online touchpoints.[9]

“When times are good you should advertise, when times are bad you MUST advertise.” [10]

What better time is there to advertise than when the audience is so captive, they are looking—in astounding numbers—at advertising vehicles that are hungry for your dollars.

“It is not the strongest nor the most intelligent species that survives, but the most adaptable to change.”   – Charles Darwin

That’s what smart businesses are doing – adapting.  They are re-allocating dollars pegged to canceled sports and cable programming in ways that can actually increase their previously planned reach without increasing spend.

Spikes in leads from Programmatic Advertising
Spikes in leads from Programmatic Advertising

Want to amplify the reach of your TV campaigns on digital platforms during these intensive news cycles? Consider reallocating your already booked advertising to the exact spot it needs to be now.   Capture a confined audience that, depending on what your business offers, is ready to buy now or when ‘social distancing’ is over.  The old ‘silver lining’ adage is true in many cases and especially for this unique window of opportunity to let your business shine!

[1] Broadcasting & Cable 3/31/20
[2] FierceVideo 3/31/20
[3] 3/17/20
[4] Nuvoodoo study 3/31/20
[5] Inside Radio 3/30/20
[6] Barrons 3/31/20
[7] Broadcasting & Cable 3/31/20
[8] Facebook 3/24/20
[9] MarTech
[10] America Business Media, McGraw-Hill, Penton Research Services, Coopers & Lybrand and MacTech Magazine

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