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Talk Social: 15 April, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on media consumption

As lockdown continues, it’s no surprise that people are consuming vast amounts of media. Research from Global Web Index has found that more than 80 per cent of people say they are viewing more content since the outbreak. 

Looking into the generational breakdown of media consumption reveals that Generation Z (16-23 year olds) are now watching 51 per cent more online videos (primarily YouTube and TikTok), 38 per cent more streamed TV and 31 per cent more video games. Older generations are more likely to be turning to traditional media with broadcast TV up 41 per cent for Generation X (38-56 year olds).

Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of consumers are seeking out pandemic updates online over any other activity. However, Generation Z is the only generation more likely to be listening to music rather than searching for news.

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Skype falters as Zoom and Houseparty boom

If the Coronavirus pandemic had swept across the world 10 years ago, everyone would have turned Skype to connect over video and voice calls. Instead, rivals like Zoom and Houseparty are currently having a moment of huge growth thanks to consumers looking for alternatives.

Houseparty currently sits at number one in the UK App Store and Zoom is in the second position. Skype sits at number 15.

There are many reasons for this consumer shift. One is how easy Zoom and Houseparty are to use. Zoom users don’t need an account, it’s free to use for up to 40 minutes, and you can join meetings with just a simple link or code. 

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How brands are staying connected with customers

With everyone from hairdressers to coffee shops having to close their outlets, many brands are finding new ways to connect with consumers and help on the crisis frontline.

Pret a Manger served free hot drinks and half-price food to thousands NHS workers prior to the onset of the lockdown. Likewise, Leon is now offering NHS workers 50 per cent off on all food and drink. Brewdog and other alcohol companies turned their distilleries over to the production of hand sanitiser.

The marketers behind these actions are aware that their brands need to exist in the minds of consumers so that, when the pandemic eventually ends, they will be able to snap back into action.

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YouTube sees 75 per cent jump in news video views

YouTube video views on news content increased by 75 per cent in recent weeks from the same time last year, with millions of people turning to the video site for updates on COVID-19.

YouTube, which normally reaches more than two billion viewers a month, and has had a significant traffic surge since the outbreak. One of the largest increases came from ‘news’ content as people seek out information around this crisis.

To combat misinformation, YouTube ranks news and medical videos according to their ‘authoritativeness’, using a mixture of automation and human evaluators. The platform also began running an information panel on relevant video linking to health agencies, such as the NHS.

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Instagram launches ‘Thank You Hour’ sticker to share appreciation

Instagram has launched a new ‘Thank You Hour’ initiative, which will allow users to feature Stories frames that include the new ‘Thank You Hour’ sticker. This allows users to shout about the various things they are appreciative for amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Along with the ‘Thanks Health Heroes’ and the ‘Stay at Home’ stickers, this is the latest of Instagram’s cause-related stickers, designed to provide more ways for users to engage around certain subjects, and share their support through their Stories.

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