Are there new normal patterns in media consumption?

Global pandemic leads to rise in content capacity

The pandemic has introduced several changes in our lives. But the biggest difference that most would agree to is in the media consumption pattern or the way we consume content.

Indeed we are living in the digital age, where we use media a lot. But this consumption pattern increased tenfold when we had no other choice but to stay at home! So, we can say that there are new patterns of content consumption that have undergone dynamic changes.

The content capacity has risen more than ever because we have moved a majority of our social lives online. Thus, The media consumption limits seen in the at-home segments for OTT, TV, and online diversion have also increased. This particular consumer behaviour appeared unexpectedly in the months following the announcement of a global pandemic. And that ultimately led to several countries initiating a lockdown protocol.

People turned to digital media to stay connected, communicate and carry on with life as usual. As these habits grew, it opened up many avenues of business growth particularly for digital media and streaming services. Over the span of last year, businesses also had to adapt their marketing strategy to this new aspect of consumer behaviour. They had to develop unique monetization streams and ad-models. Presently, a digital business model is routed, or built around a goal of integrating monetization aims, ad-spends, profit protection while integrating an even bigger scope of technology.

New media consumption patterns in the New Normal

That is what our life looks like in the new normal. We have already adapted all of our buying or shopping patterns. We are now adjusting how we use the media channels we love. What are those new routines that are guiding buyers today? What kind of reshaping are markets, the average Digital marketing strategy undergoing, and will those changes be permanent?

The answer to these questions depends on our environment. Consumers are adapting quickly to social distancing, the prime standard to be adhered to in the pandemic era. Advertising and media companies’ success lies in how quickly they anticipate these changes. That means they have to abandon the old way of creating and executing a long-term digital marketing strategy. Instead, they should learn how to modify those strategies on the go.

Consumers want a lot more media

The online video media consumption pattern has skyrocketed; it began growing once the crisis hit and has been growing ever since. This media consumption pattern will likely stay this way even in the post-COVID era. The first consumer segment to exhibit this consumption pattern was Gen Z. Here 58% of them showed higher use of social media during the pandemic. Other consumer segments, regardless of their age, gender, and level of interest in media followed suit.

What kind of implications does this have on media production industries and their marketing strategy? Consumers are filming videos and uploading them on popular social networks like TikTok and Instagram. Brands are now realizing that they can capitalize on this particular trend to acquire greater production value. They can leverage it in order to reach younger audiences. For them, online video production has the added benefits of having fewer distractions. This gives that brand an image of authenticity, thereby improving their digital marketing strategy.

Higher price sensitivity brought on by economic insecurity

Consumers are buying more streaming and media services. They are focusing on various offers, promotions, and deals that give them more value for their money. Another pandemic buying phenomenon is also affecting this media consumption pattern. Cutting back on non-essentials, search for local brands, and private labels are the major characteristics of this phenomenon.

Two-thirds of consumers worldwide are uncertain and less optimistic about where the pandemic will go and are cautious about spending.

As per an April analysis run by McKinsey & Company

Consumers want to make the best use of what they already own

Consumers aren’t too eager to test out new services or products. What this means is that now isn’t the ideal time for brands to launch a new service or product; and even if they do, the response that they do receive will be dismal.

People are interested in gaining more through the media that already have. For example, a consumer won’t be interested in buying a new phone. But they will be interested in purchasing a value deal for their favorite media streaming service.

Companies are building their marketing strategy around this thought that how they can

  • add more value for existing consumers
  • can remove inconveniences in service delivery
  • can improve on service already purchased

People prefer brands that care

About 58% of consumers prefer to purchase from a brand that provides necessary services. Another 55% say that they value brands that make changes that benefit consumers greatly. The brands that prioritize charitable contributions; responsible messaging are gaining a lot.

Contact-less retail

Contactless payments, based on this IBM study, are preferable today. Consumers are using devices and services for delivering payments as it restricts excess handling of wallets and physical cash. That same study even showed that 40% of consumers are likely to carry on using digital payments.

Increase in OTT viewers

OTT media has emerged as the prime media consumption channel for entertainment and recreation. There are more subscribers today, with 43% of consumers eager to take up paid subscriptions that they didn’t have earlier. These numbers are in addition to the 25% surge in all of the critical parameterswithin the OTT industry, such as average watch time, subscribers, and total viewership count.

OTT has also been the safer choice in entertainment since cinema halls are closed and top movie production companies are choosing OTT as their key product distribution outlet in their digital marketing strategy. Production companies have even been modifying their content to fit new interests. Family-oriented programs and viewing is the goal so that people staying together can view the same content at the same time. 

Companies are doing all they can to address coronavirus concerns using an ideal marketing strategy. Many of them changed their communications to highlight this focus on community aid, sustainability and that they put consumers before their revenues. Some are even directly getting involved in charitable actions to help consumers, promote COVID-19 awareness, and more.    

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