For businesses that are pressing forward with marketing (or for those that want to, but don’t know where to start), a critical trend to watch is how media consumption is changing. While it’s not shocking that digital media in most forms is seeing increased engagement, we drill down a bit into age groups and media types and what the implications are for you, as a marketer.

THE TOP FOUR INCREASES BY AGE GROUP

GEN Z

Online Video
Online TV/ Streaming
Video Games
Music Streaming

MILLENNIALS

Online Video
Online TV/ Streaming
Online Press
Broadcast TV

Genx 2

GEN X

Broadcast TV
Online TV/Streaming
Online Video
Online Press

BABY BOOMERS

Broadcast TV
Online TV/Streaming
Radio
Online Press

Most Common Increase: Online TV/Streaming

Being confined to the home has obviously been a boon for streaming services. In fact, 30% of GenZ, the generation more interested in short form online video, say they would consider getting a subscription to Netflix where they previously did not have one. This does present a bit of a challenge for advertisers, especially when those premium subscription services do not offer an avenue for advertising. But if we look at media consumption more holistically, customer profiling becomes increasingly important. Defining the traits of streamers and extrapolating those out to target audience profiles will ensure advertisers are not missing them when they turn their attention to other online activities.

Online Press and Online Video

We’ll do our best not to be biased here, but many people report a significant increase of online press consumption. The only group not reporting a significant increase is Baby Boomers, but that’s mainly because they already consume a lot of news. It’s too early to tell what implications that will have in the long term, but one thing is certainly clear – having an established relationship with local news media proves beneficial to quickly take advantage of an increase in audience. This isn’t just true in a time of global crisis either. Breaking news is impossible to predict but will always result in a substantial increase in traffic to news sites. It proves the value of local news to the community. 

The increase in online video is not as clear of an indicator for advertisers. While marketers know that having a solid strategy for video is important, it’s likely the topics sought out for online video varies greatly among age groups. We do know that DIY and eLearning videos have seen substantial growth, and many people stream music through video sites like You Tube. Additionally, with so many live events canceled, artists are turning to live online videos to entertain those that would have otherwise attended concerts or other performances. The best course of action right now is to audit your audience targeting strategy to ensure it accounts for the increase in online video consumption. 

Broadcast TV

Millennials, GenX and Boomers have all reported an increase of consumption of Broadcast TV when in the past month. (There’s only so much streaming content to go around!) Local news remains important regardless of the medium and evening news shows are reporting their largest audiences in decades. Interestingly though, despite the sharp increase in broadcast consumption, viewership of individual shows have only shown modest increases. This is more an indicator of how fractured the TV landscape has become.

As we stressed before, it’s hard to say how much of this will affect media permanently, but there is no doubt it will have long term effect. Now is the best time to audit your digital strategies, especially audience targeting and segmentation. 

Sources: Global Web Index Coronavirus Research Report April 2020; Mediapost