Reports COVID-19

COVID-19 The Self-Isolation Entertainment Boom

Report by Mark Mulligan


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The 20,000 Foot View: Following our first        impact report, this report deep dives into how media consumption patterns have changed in the initial weeks of        dislocation. While it is crucial to remember that these behaviour shifts are a snapshot of a unique moment in time, there are nonetheless some that will persist post-pandemic. This report combines new consumer data, an update to MIDiA’s Attention Economy model and insight from media company executives.

Key Insights

Market performance

  • During March 2020, audio streaming volumes were down for most labels across most regions while YouTube and Vevo streams were up
  • Games companies experienced strong growth everywhere, especially Asia-Pacific
  • For TV companies, both streams and linear audiences were up in March

Audience demand

  • Since the enaction of self-isolation measures, Google searches for entertainment have spiked with video, games and news seeing the strongest rises in search activity while sports plummeted
  • Video messaging apps and casual games are the most-downloaded mobile apps, reflecting fast-changing behaviour patterns for both consumers and workers


  • TV and news were the biggest media consumption gainers in March –        of consumers in Italy watched more TV        in the US and        in the UK)
  •        of US consumers increased their video streaming activity 
  • Radio audiences were up, with around a quarter of consumers increasing their listening time


  • News consumption doubled in the US during March and was up        in the UK
  • The gains made by radio, TV and games were all relatively similar, averaging around        uplift across the US and UK
  • Streaming music time was down        in the US and        in the UK


  • The March behaviour shifts are a snapshot of a unique moment and will largely normalise over time
  • However, some new behaviours will persist beyond the pandemic, recalibrating the media consumption mix

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:   Amazon, Amazon Music, Apple TV+, Bauer, BBC, Call of Duty, CNN, Comcast, DAZN, Deezer, Disney +, English Premier League, ESPN, Facetime, Fox News, Fox Sports, Fun Kids, Global, Google, Google Play Store, Houseparty, Life on Air, Microsoft, NASCAR, NFL, NBA, Netflix, Prime Video, Spotify, Sveriges Radio, Vevo, YouTube, Zoom

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