Industry Insights & Trends

Consumer Viewership Trends


An article by Forbes reported a massive increase in digital video consumption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics showed that about 60% of adults in the U.S. regularly consume video or TV on their mobile devices.

Increase in Digital Video Consumption

Prosper View Video on Mobile

  • According to the source, the overall watch time and viewing dynamics shifted dramatically as viewers gravitated towards their content to ease the lockdown pressure.
  • Arthur Mamedov, the COO of The Soul Publishing, an independent digital studio, opined that The Soul Publishing saw “weekend numbers” daily.
  • Adding to the fundamental shift, “there was an uplift in positive, household-friendly content as people began seeking more videos that could replicate situations at home.”
  • A prime example of a proper channel watching together by families for DIY inspiration is Slick Slime Sam.
  • The increase in digital video consumption is also evident in the overall growth of social media. Video-based platforms such as Instagram have “doubled down on their video offerings, with big pushes on IGTV and new releases like Instagram Reels and “Story Pins,” respectively.”
  • YouTube is experiencing more than 100 million viewers streaming content through their TVs every month, while TikTok has grown beyond Gen Z and attracted other age groups, from millennials to boomers.

Increase in TV (News) Viewing

  • An article on LinkedIn opined that cable news programming had seen exponential growth in viewership amid a heightened news cycle.
  • Leading consumers were said to spend more time on online streaming entertainment and virtually connecting with others.
  • Respondents of a survey by DoubleVerify revealed that they had spent more time-consuming content on some channels, including TV (45%), news websites/apps (47%), and streaming services (47%).
  • Notably, “more than 4 in 10 (44%) respondents stated that they are using CTV devices more since the pandemic. This is the case particularly among younger consumers, with half (49%) of 18-24-year-olds increasing their usage and 55% of 25-35-year-olds. By comparison, around one-quarter (24%) of those ages 65 and over have increased their time with CTV.”
  • The increase in live TV viewing was attributed to the growth in news consumption by consumers.
  • Coronavirus fundamentally changed people’s reasons for watching TV. Whereas before, it was often associated with distraction and unwinding, the people we spoke to were rife with anxiety and turned to TV to relieve the stress of COVID-19.
  • Television news viewership increased by 23% during September year over year. During the month, viewers watched the news for 7 hours and 5 minutes per week, representing 35% of all TV viewing.
  • Nonetheless, USA Today revealed that the viewership for sports has been a bit disappointing. Examples include;

Change in Audio Content Listening

  • According to an article by Radio World, “audio consumption in the United States is shifting from home back to the car as quarantine restrictions have lifted in some areas.”
  • Before the COVID-19 restrictions, 32% of all audio listening in the U.S. was done in-car.
  • In-car listening fell by 38%, accounting for only 20% of all listening due to Covid-19 travel/commuting restrictions. This caused at-home listening to increase from 49% of all listening to 70% within the same period.
  • As quarantine restrictions are being relaxed in some locations, in-car listening grew from 20% in Q2 to 28% in Q4. Meanwhile, at-home listening fell from 70% to 59%.

 Share of Ear® report

  • Edison Research revealed that podcasting’s share of listening in the U.S had hit an all-time high. Podcasting’s share of all audio listening increased to 6% of consumption in 2020 compared to 2% in 2014.
  • Since the start of 2020, daily time listening to smart speakers has increased by 43%, while PC and desktop audio streaming has risen by 54%.

Share of Ear® study

Receptivity to Ads

  • Marketing Charts reported a shift in consumer receptivity to ads.
  • The source provides the current state of consumers’ openness to ads with the largest proportion of consumers (47%) being receptive to ads on TV, followed by social media (42%), news websites/apps (36%), and video/mobile games (22%).
  • Consumers were least receptive to ads on streaming music channels (21%) and most receptive to social media ads (57%).
  • The report also showed that consumers’ openness to ads is impacted by content topics.
  • About 55% of respondents claimed that “their brand purchase decision would be negatively impacted by ads being placed alongside fake news or inflammatory opinions.”
  • Consumers were also said to be negatively affected by “ad adjacency to the news on combat, war, or territory disputes (41%), humanitarian or natural disasters news (35%), and politics (28%). “
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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