As well as introducing consumers to new digital media channels – from e-commerce to livestreaming – the COVID-19 lockdown may have a positive long-term impact on the number of people spending money on in- and out-of-home entertainment, research suggests.

A recent Vivendi study found that nearly half of global consumers expect their media behaviours to permanently change after COVID-19.

Vivendi Brand Marketing, part of the French media conglomerate which also owns agency network Havas, surveyed more than 7,000 consumers in markets including China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.

At Lions Live, a digital-content platform run by Cannes Lions (a sister company of WARC), Maria Garrido, who jointly holds the roles of senior vice-president/brand marketing for Vivendi and chief insights and analytics officer at Havas Group, made three predictions:

1. Digital natives, and specifically Gen Z consumers, will be “hungry” for more live, face-to-face interaction coming out of confinement.

2. Families with young children will demand more at-home digital experiences, giving them an “opportunity to cocoon” at home and enjoy a collective entertainment moment.

3. Most importantly for brands, there will be an “acceleration of content created in the digital space”, including interactive entertainment experiences.

“These unprecedented times truly did impact how we consume entertainment. Almost every consumer we talked to around the world changed their habits during the lockdown,” said Garrido.

A video of Mario Garrido’s session can be viewed in full here. WARC subscribers can read a summary here.

Entertainment clearly played an important role in getting people through lockdown – but it did more than help them pass the time. “It played a genuine societal role, helping us stick to the rules of confinement,” said Garrido – the ready availability of entertainment made it easier for people to stay at home and slow the spread of the virus.

But after several months of being at home, the study also found, unsurprisingly, an “urgency to re-socialise” and a “craving” for out-of-home entertainment; 44% of respondents plan to return to cinemas, live music concerts, sports events and the theatre as soon as they possibly can.

From an entertainment perspective, 45% said that they expect to permanently change their consumption habits in the months and years ahead – with 23% predicting a greater emphasis on digital and in-home media, and 22% expecting to consume more entertainment outside of the home than before lockdown.

Sourced from WARC