Important Statistical Changes In Media Viewership

As mentioned in last week’s blog post, there are currently huge shifts occurring in video viewership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, how much of a change is there, and does this change only include local news?

Video Viewership in Response

As the world changes, so does everything it encompasses. The way we watch TV has changed significantly in recent years due to the introduction of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. These new forms of entertainment are not only more accessible but also allow for a wider variety of content that was previously unavailable on traditional cable channels. This blog post will explore how these changes have affected media viewership over time.


Today, we focus on the statistical changes that have been taking place in media viewership due to the pandemic and share some interesting statistics that have been gathered in the past weeks by ComScore.

News Live Television Viewership

American households have viewed over 18 million hours of special programming related to COVID-19.  Live television viewership is up in all dayparts year over year, and most significantly in the early fringe daypart of 3p-5p. Early morning news television viewership (7a-8a) is up 25% compared to last year, and viewing levels are continuing to expand as the day progresses. The statistics are showing that there are more viewers earlier in the day and that these viewers are continuing to engage with television throughout the day. Overall, on the four broadcast networks, Comscore is seeing a 31% increase year over year in daytime viewing and 35% increase in early fringe.

Streaming Television

Similarly, to live television, streaming television is seeing sharp increases is viewership as well. Year over year, Connected TV is up 29%. Connected TV has seen a 34% increase in hours watched while streaming sticks and boxes have seen a 20% increase in hours watched. Netflix, however, continues to be the top OTT provider, followed by YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Other consoles that have seen increases in usage include gaming consoles (48%) and smart speakers (44%).

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Other Media Mediums Viewership

In one month, visits to local news websites traffic went up 89%. The week of March 16th saw 630 million visits to new websites, which was up 18% over the prior week.

There has also been a large change in web traffic around key industries over the prior month. During the examined week of March 16, when many schools were closed and online learning was starting, there were 518 million digital visits, an 18% increase to education-content websites. While the financial services category saw a 2% decline in searches, the investment category experienced a 43% growth.

Social media saw nearly 12 billion visits in one week after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is by far the highest numbers of visits in a week this year. Retail sites also increased in traffic by 11% as home quarantining and shelter-in-place initiatives forced consumers to shop online.

What does this Mean for Media?

The statistics provided above are meant to demonstrate the vastly different ways that consumers are interacting with media because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how consumers are interacting with media is extremely important to businesses who are looking to market to those consumers. If you need a full-service media partner, Media Venue can help. We have the experience, resources and creativity to optimize the return on your marketing investment. Whether it is developing a traditional media planning and buying strategy or creating a digital marketing plan for your web presence, our media solutions deliver successful results.

Established in 1995 in Louisville Kentucky. Media Venue has a national, regional, local and direct client base. We also work with in-house marketing departments as well advertising firms of all sizes for media planning and buying purposes. We apply our vast knowledge and years of experience to develop a media plan that will deliver success. Check our media planning & buying services today.

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