Media consumption grows amid changing consumer behaviour
The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is producing some significant changes in consumer behaviour, new research shows, including notable growth in media consumption.
In a survey of 5,500 of its own customers, conducted between March 19 and 22, radio and magazine business Bauer Media recorded an upturn in print media consumption, with 72% of those surveyed claiming to be reading magazines at this time. 6% said they were reading more magazines than previously.
According to Bauer, which publishes magazines including Empire, Grazia and TV Choice, some magazine categories have experienced a particular boost.
Special interest magazines, such as Mother & Baby and Bike, are being read 31% more, while music, film and entertainment magazines are up 28%, TV listings are up 21%, and women's lifestyles magazines are up 14%.
Bauer also found that 85% of those surveyed had been listening to radio, with 17% listening to more than they had been previously.
As more people are now working exclusively from home, listening has shifted to connected devices such as smartphones and smart speakers. Listening via connected devices is up by 15% overall, while car radio listening has dropped by 18%.
In data shared with Mediatel News earlier this week covering streaming figures from March 15-22, Bauer - which broadcasts stations including Kiss, Magic and Absolute Radio - confirmed that it reached a new record in daily streaming reach on Friday 20.
The radio broadcaster also saw its total digital reach up by 6% and hours up by 3% week-on-week.
Similarly, Global - broadcaster of radio stations including Capital, Heart and LBC - reported a 15% rise in daily reach via connected devices between March 9 and 17, while listening hours rose by 9%.
Meanwhile, Bauer reports that 24% of consumers are watching more TV than previously, 7% are listening to more podcasts, and 33% are using the internet more.
This increase in media consumption comes as consumers' daily behaviour undergoes marked changes as a result of social distancing measures.
According to Bauer, 90% of respondents said their daily behaviour had changed in some way in the last two weeks. A quarter no longer use public transport, more than half are taking walks and spring cleaning, and a third have turned to gardening and home improvement.
Shopping is also shifting online. 85% of respondents said they plan to continue non food shopping, with 25% claiming that they will be doing such shopping online exclusively.
However, 93% said they do not feel worried about creating a new daily routine, and only 25% of respondents feel pessimistic.
“This research will prove invaluable for our advertisers as it gives a detailed view of how consumers are reacting and coping, and the role that media plays in their new daily routines," Abby Carvosso, group MD at Bauer Advertising, said.
"We will continue to track our consumers’ behaviour and share our insights with all advertisers and customers. By updating them with the newest data and working with them on the tone and timing of messaging, we can help our advertising customers to deliver the most relatable and relevant campaigns that can gain cut-through in this challenging, constantly evolving situation.”