Nielsen Predicts Media Use Could Increase 60% During COVID-19 Virus Shutdowns

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Nielsen Predicts Media Use Could Increase 60% During COVID-19 Virus Shutdowns

By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor

The Nielsen Company predicted this week that American media use in some cases could increase up to 60% “and potentially more” during federal, state and local government “stay at home” orders for the coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis in March and April.

American adults are already spending just short of 12 hours of day on media platforms, not including listening to recorded music and reading books, magazines and newspapers.

During crisis events, including hurricanes and snowstorms, Nielsen reports, “Media users ramp up their media consumption to stay informed, kill time, find solace, and stay in touch with others.”

Nielsen examined how consumers in Houston, Texas, behaved in August 2017 during Hurricane Harvey and how consumers in New York City behaved when a huge snowstorm struck during the weekend of Jan. 23, 2016. It found a 61% increase in TV streaming in both cases. The overall increase for all media use ranged from 45% in New York to 56% in Houston.

“Consumers stayed warm indoors binging content, watching movies and keeping up with news from the outside,” Nielsen says.

Nielsen also reported a 17% increase in TV viewing in South Korea during the country’s recent coronavirus crisis, and a 15% increase in TV viewing in the hardest hit part of Italy.

Finally, Nielsen found that employees who work remotely Monday through Friday will watch three hours more traditional television than employees who don’t work remotely, about 25 hours compared to slightly less than 22 hours.

Nielsen’s analysis here makes it even more imperative that American families make sure their children and grandchildren become media wise, learning to discern the good from the bad.

Please go to www.movieguide.org for tools on parenting and to buy THE CULTURE WISE FAMILY and THE MEDIA WISE FAMILY.