With the media landscape changing in front of our very eyes at present, it will be interesting to see just what ‘post-covid’ social, media and online information delivery will be like, as the country’s lockdown makes its mark on the way we consume our content.

Prior to the Coronavirus crisis, we were regularly hearing reports of how newspaper, television and radio consumption were rapidly decreasing, and how our reliance on device-based content was fast becoming the favoured norm.

However, if media and marketing history have taught us anything over the years, it’s that a significant movement in the economic climate or a societal crisis can prove to be a catalyst for communication consumption change.

A current media panorama can be dramatically transformed when reliance on certain information, and consequentially consumption patterns start to alter.

Whilst globally, people are spending more time accessing social and online content, there’s also been an uplift in other more traditional mediums, selected potentially for their delivery of reliable information. Television and radio audience figures are climbing back up the popularity scale, even amongst young adults (in the UK, TV viewing is up 22% with young adults among the main consumers). In addition, in some markets, newspaper formats are witnessing a revival, with reports that 32% of consumers – including the 18-24-year-old age group – are reading traditional news publications (albeit in digital format for the most part) more frequently.

The unprecedented Covid-19 situation also appears to be leading people to seek out and follow influencers with more scientific and medical knowledge bases. As for video communications; the surge in use has been monumental, with Microsoft Teams and Zoom recording seismic increases in users (myself among them), as the ‘at home screen’ becomes the place to communicate, both in terms of business and pleasure. Zoom for example had 10 million users at the end of last year, however more recently it has reported 200 million users and growing!
Turning attentions to sit-down telly time and the lockdown situation appears to have brought us back to the box. The Telegraph reported earlier in the month that in the UK households are watching more broadcast TV than they have done in years – excluding Christmas. The average number of hours has jumped from 21 to 25 per week since lockdown began. Even younger viewers – notoriously tricky for broadcasters to attract in the age of streaming – are watching 67 per cent more telly in these current times.

%

rise in TV viewing

So what can we learn from the lockdown lookout perspective? Will spending so much time at home and choosing to stay informed of the Covid-19 situation have left many of our content access methods antiquated as the coming months unfold?

Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, we can presume that video conferencing will continue to fly, with E-vents increasing as an alternative to live events and more people using the tech to better enable working from home.

Furthermore, and so long as traditional media formats find enticing ways to keep newly acquired listeners and viewers engaged, radio and TV may be able to boost audience figures, as formats continue to adopt and develop the online methods that help presenters remain at home.

The follower numbers for influencers with more credible messaging may upscale too, and with education becoming increasingly virtual, the drive for engaging educational content could also quicken pace.

One thing we can almost certainly predict is that the world of communications will start to look different in the post-Covid light. It will be interesting to see just what sticks and what slips, as well as how creators and communicators will change their approach to delivering information and content as they continue to navigate the fast-changing communication landscape.

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