Consumers turning to trusted media brands amid Covid-19

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UK consumers are gravitating towards trusted, traditional media brands and live TV in response to the Covid-19 situation.

That’s according to a new study from Havas Media Group.

The Covid-19 Media Behaviours Report is a new research study into consumer behaviour and media consumption. It is based on a survey of 1,478 UK respondents.

Trusted media

It shows that the BBC has become the most trusted news channel during the outbreak; with 64% citing it as a factually correct source of information about Covid-19; followed by Sky News (29%) and The Guardian (15%).

Over half of respondents (53%) said they are using BBC News more than before, almost double that of any other channel.

The study shows that while media consumption has increased in response to Covid- 19, with net gains for all channels with the exception of OOH and cinema; live TV, social media, streaming, VOD and newspapers have seen the biggest increases.

Live TV for COVID updates

Havas said 49% of respondents said they are watching more live TV because of the virus. Some 40% said they are visiting social media more, and 39% have increased their use of streaming platforms.

Mirroring the broader national trend, younger people are consuming more media than usual.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been a 60% net gain in streaming amongst people aged 18 to 24, and 58% in VOD use. However, more interestingly, this age group has also seen a 49% net gain in live TV viewing.

32% of those surveyed said they are reading newspapers more often, whether physical copies or online. Notably, this is also reflected amongst younger age groups, with 29% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 31% of 25 to 34-year-olds increasing their consumption of newspaper brands.

Social media gains

All social platforms have made gains in usage in the wake of Covid-19, with Facebook and WhatsApp benefitting the most. 33% of respondents said they had been using Facebook more than usual; 28% said they had increased their use of WhatsApp.

Havas Media Group will be conducting the study on a fortnightly basis, in order to gain insights into consumer behaviour and media consumption as the Covid-19 situation evolves.

Eva Grimmett, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Media Group, said: “This study really highlights the role that trusted, meaningful media play in times of crisis.

“While most channels have seen an increase in consumption in response to Covid-19, our research reveals a much greater reliance on live TV and a need for trusted news brands such as the BBC.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how this behaviour develops as the situation evolves in the coming weeks.”