Little Boxes – how are we using our home technology in lockdown?
Little boxes – how are we using our home technology in lockdown?
Little boxes – how are we using our home technology in lockdown?
For many people, our home technology is helping to keep us sane right now. Our primary source of news and entertainment may be live TV, but we’re also streaming music, films, and playing video games. And we’re going online to access information and keep in touch with our communities.
This week, our COVID-19 impact tracker reveals how our media consumption is changing in lockdown, and what this might mean as we begin to transition to the next phase of this pandemic as restrictions ease.
At Delineate, we have a solid understanding of how the nation reacted as the restrictions took hold. Our platform allows us to understand consumer opinion in real-time, and with our COVID-19 Impact Tracker we’re following the #StayAtHomeNation as we move through this crisis.
To help brands and especially marketers and communicators, with the changes and challenges they’re facing, we recently published a free white paper “#StayAtHomeNation: Understanding the impact of COVID-19”. If you missed it, you can download it here
It’s probably no surprise that we’re watching more broadcast TV during lockdown. In April, 81% of people in the UK tuned in daily to the “gogglebox”. Most TV watchers are in the over 55s demographic, which grew to 92% in April. However, the biggest shift is in viewers in the 35-54 age group, which increased by 5% to four in five people (80%), possibly due to the scale of home working and furloughing that has affected the UK workforce.
Beyond broadcast, other viewing services are also grabbing our attention. One in three of us now regularly uses an on-demand service like BBC i-player and ITV Hub. Already popular with the 18-34s (40% in April), usage in the 35-54 age group leapt from 28% in January to 38%. But the largest demographic increase is in the over 55s, which has almost doubled to 29%. It seems that the flexibility of on-demand services is becoming more appealing to all ages. Is this a trend that continue to grow after lockdown?
Subscription TV is also booming, as we discover must-see TV and films unavailable elsewhere. Almost half of us (49%) are regularly watching services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, compared to 35% in January. Once again, the early adopters are in the 18-34 group (which grew to 63% in April). But in lockdown, everyone else is catching up. On-demand is gaining most ground with the 35-54s, increasing 18% to 55%. And again, the demographic has doubled in the over 55s, up 17% to 33% in April.
While broadcast TV production may have suffered under COVID-19 restrictions, subscription services have clearly benefited. But when normal programming resumes will we still be prepared to pay?
Video Killed the Radio Star
While TV is more popular than ever, radio is less so. Nationally, 45% of us regularly listen to the radio, either online or via a traditional set, a fall from 49% in January.
There were decreases across all age groups, but the largest drop is from the 18-34 demographic which has fallen 9% to 32% in April. What does this tell us about our day to day radio usage – is this a temporary drop because less of us are commuting to work? Or is this because there are less collective listening spaces available to us?
Are Friend’s Electric?
Beyond TV and Radio, we’re also going online. We’re most comfortable with a keyboard, although smartphone and tablet use is more variable. Phone and tablet usage increased to 70% last month, but this due largely to a huge spike in the over 55 demographic (which increased 14% this year to 63%).
Phone/tablet usage in the 18-34 group actually fell 7% to 75%, perhaps indicating a change in social media habits. Visits to sites like Facebook and Instagram increased for the 35-54s (3%), and the over 55s (5%), but dropped 8% among 18-34s (to 72%). Is this because there’s more interest in online meeting spaces like Zoom or Google Hangouts, or are more people are seeking connections in online communities, blogs and forums, which saw a rise 3% to 24% last month.
Online, music and video streaming sites like YouTube and Spotify remain popular. We’re also seeing more interest in video game and eSports sites like Twitch, surprisingly popular with the over55s
But we’re most likely checking the news. Where printed newspapers have taken a dip under lockdown, online readerships have increased 5% to 35%. The majority of us (63%) are heading to news sites like the BBC for our information and education. Over half of 18-34s (53%) are now regularly accessing news sites. The 35-54 group increased 16% from 54% to 70%, and the over 55s rocketed 19% from 46% to 65%.
So, what happens next?
It’s hardly surprising we’re consuming more media while we’re stuck at home. Across all ages we’re embracing new services online and through our home technology. But will our on-demand and subscription habits fade when things ‘get back to normal’? And if we’re less likely to be commuting to work in that new normality, what impact will that have on our media consumption?
We’ll be following these developments with interest with our impact tracker, which is part of our always-on data products, helping marketers, communicators and brands understand the challenges they’re facing. If you’re interested, please visit our COVID-19 page which is updated daily for more information.
Download the COVID-19 Impact Tracker White Paper – #StayAtHomeNation
Our White Paper #StayAtHomeNation, reveals our findings from the first couple of weeks of lockdown. You can download a free copy of the white paper.
Our COVID-19 Impact Tracker which is part of our always-on suite of data products, is helping marketers and communicators access the latest information and take action.
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