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Media Habits are Settling

6 min read.

Craig Farrell, Head of Media Planning

by Craig Farrell, Head of Media Planning


Overall we are starting to see a levelling off of media consumption as people are becoming fatigued of the current restrictions. Whilst interest in, and viewership of news content remains high, it is significantly lower than at the peak. People are therefore doing new things in an attempt to fend off boredom. This is particularly true of younger TV audiences who are consuming less TV now than during the same weeks last year.

Catch-up and streaming services which have grown significantly throughout the ‘Stay At Home’ period have started to reduce to closer to pre-lockdown levels. Streams of indigenous programming have reduced in recent weeks and replaced by new, original, content on Sky and All 4 which have attracted viewers in increasing numbers.

Whilst TV and VOD viewership has grown year-on-year, this growth is slowing across all audiences. All TV viewership is up 7% year-on-year with an average  viewing time of almost 2.5 hours each day.  This, however, is only the same level as in January 2020 indicating a reset in viewing patterns.

RTÉ has grown its share of viewing by 5% since the restrictions were put in place, driven primarily by news and current affairs content. This growth has shifted in recent weeks as interest in news begins to wane and consumers are now looking for lighter entertainment.  As a result, Channel 4 has seen growth throughout the day, albeit from a low base.

Streaming of indigenous broadcast content has seen declines in recent weeks as consumers seek new, fresher content. As a result we have seen an increase in Sky TV primarily driven by its original content such as Gangs of London and Save Me Too.

National newspaper sales have reduced in recent weeks mirroring a general news fatigue. Most newspapers have reported a decline in weekday sales vs. pre-COVID-19 levels. We have, however, at the same time seen an increase in subscriptions to both online content and home delivery of newspapers suggesting a shift in consumption  habits during the lockdown.

Search trends continue to normalise as searches for Coronavirus have decreased again week-on-week and consumers are now getting back to normal with their search behaviour.
Searches for home office, and kitchen improvements have all seen growth in recent weeks as consumers replace & upgrade for a long-term lockdown.

Social media audiences remain high with +38% growth in traffic since before the lockdown. In recent weeks, however, we have seen an increase in cost (CPM) as well as a drop in engagement levels(CTR) resulting in a significant growth in cost-per-click (CPC).

JNLR research has been delayed until after the lockdown and has been replaced in the meantime with pulse research .  Listenership results are in line with previous JNLR listened yesterday reports, however we have seen a significant shift from in-car listenership to in-home.  At the same time we are also seeing a large volume of podcast content with over 3,300 podcast episodes being released each week.

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