Monday, April 13, 2020

Insights: Media Usage Changed Less Than Expected During Pandemic

This week’s Westwood One blog looks at the perception that the Coronavirus outbreak has dramatically shifted American media behaviors. While “shelter at home” has altered the daily lives of many, when it comes to ad-supported media, the differences are not as stark as many assume.

  • TV: Millennials 18-34 down -10%. Nielsen national live-TV, total-day viewing levels among 18-34s for March 2020 finds a -10% decrease versus the prior year. Time-shifted TV viewing among 18-34s is down -19% year-over-year. The major growth for Millennials is among video game console use, up +12% from March of the prior year, and multi-media device use, up +48%, most likely from Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  • TV: Persons 25-54 dips -3%. Among persons 25-54, Nielsen shows that the platforms advertisers can buy ads in, live and time-shifted linear TV, are down -3%. The major viewing increases were for video game console use (+19%) and multi-media devices (+53%).
  • AM/FM radio: Using Canadian Portable People Meter data as a preview of what is to come for America, AM/FM radio has retained 86% of typical weekly reach levels. Despite an early March “shelter at home” mandate in Canada, AM/FM radio reach levels for the most recent week of March 23-29 were at 86% of January 2020 levels.
  • AM/FM radio: The at-home share of total Canadian AM/FM radio listening has increased +73%. By the last week of March, Canada’s at-home share of total AM/FM radio listening grew to 52%.
  • Pandora:  down -9%: According to Rolling Stone Magazine, during the week of March 13-19, “Programmed streams on services like Pandora dropped 9% to just under 3.5 billion, while on-demand streams (audio and video) dropped 7.3 percent to 16.6 billion.”
  • Spotify:  U.S. streams of the top 200 songs are down -16%, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
  • Streaming: The Cumulus Streaming Network is only off -5% during March 30-April 3 compared to early March.
  • Streaming: Device use is consistent with slight increases in mobile apps and smart speakers. Between March 30-April 3, 45% of the Cumulus Streaming Network’s average active sessions took place on a mobile app, up slightly from 42% from March 2-6. Streaming on smart speakers went from 19% to 20% over four weeks. Streaming on a desktop dipped from 34% in the beginning of March to 30% in the beginning of April.
  • Podcasts: Slight reduction in downloads and audiences. According to Podtrac data, “U.S. weekly podcast downloads decreased 1% the week of March 30- April 5, 4% the week of March 23-29, 2% the week of March 16-22, and 1% during the week of March 9 -15, across all Podtrac measured podcasts.

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