Consumers are spending longer with different media because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and this is set to continue after the outbreak, according to the latest data from GlobalWebIndex. Across ten different activities, at least half of those who are spending longer say they plan to continue after the outbreak ends.

Online video content, including YouTube and TikTok, shows the strongest staying power – 38% of consumers say they are watching more and almost three-quarters (73%) of this group plan to maintain these higher levels. Over one-quarter (28%) are streaming more music and 73% plan to continue this after the outbreak.

American consumers are more likely than those in the UK to stick with their higher media consumption. Linear TV shows the greatest gap, while two-thirds (68%) of Americans who are watching more linear TV planning to continue to do so after the outbreak, compared to one-half (48%) in the UK.

Male consumers are most likely to continue their greater use of online video content, with 75% of those who are consuming more planning to continue this after the outbreak. For female audiences, this is tied at 71% between online video, music streaming and online TV.

This shift in consumer habits and behaviour offers brands an opportunity to create new customer relationships, particularly if they emphasise health and safety and online commerce. Luxury brands are one group who may suffer regardless, as consumers limit their spend post-outbreak.

However, marketers across industries are shifting or cutting spend in the face of a likely recession, something that may damage medium- and long-term success.

Marketing in the COVID-19 crisis

This article is part of a special WARC Snapshot focused on enabling brand marketers to re-strategise amid the unprecedented disruption caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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