Nielsen published a fascinating report yesterday concerning the increased media consumption of U.S. consumers during our Coronavirus shutdown.
The analysis is based on a study of Total Usage of Television (TUT) during two severe weather crises:
- Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017)
- New York’s ‘Snow-pocalypse‘ (2016)
- TUT usage in Houston was up 56% versus the period before the hurricane.
- And 40% more than the period after the storm.
- Comparing the Saturday of the New York snow event to the prior Saturday, TUT usage was 45% higher.
- That same Saturday was also 49% higher than the Saturday following the blizzard.
- The report also cites South Korean and Italian audience data during their recent Coronavirus shutdowns.
- Viewing also popped for the Streamers like Netflix.
- Read Nielsen’s brief report here.
Opportunity for Channels
- As I wrote on Sunday, the shutdown appears to create an opportunity for the channels.
- They will enjoy a ratings boost as consumers return to grazing the channel lineup, testing programs, and finding ones that they like.
- Channels can use the spike in viewing to heavily promote their upcoming upcoming shows.
But Does It Matter?
- However, a bigger audience doesn’t translate to increased ad revenues.
- That’s because most spots are pre-sold based on forecast demo’s.
- The networks are more or less incapable of seizing this moment to launch creative solutions.
- Their offices are shut. So are their commercial partners: the media buyers, advertisers, sponsors, ratings agencies, talent agents, and so on.
- Their producers and talent are also grounded.
- That wasn’t the case in most previous crises that I can remember, like 9/11 or the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, when it was more or less business as usual, and programming teams could deliver quick turnaround concepts in days or less.
- Watch out for more of my coverage of this crisis: