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Media Winners and Losers During the CoronavirusApril - 2020


Working and living at home during the coronavirus has provided an opportunity for brands to more easily reach their target audiences. However, any good marketing campaign requires a combination of the right message in the right medium to maximize effectiveness and minimize financial waste.

While everyone shelters in place, it has become clear who the media winners and losers are. Assuming your brand has the right message (and that might be a big assumption), which mediums are standing out during this pandemic? 


Game Time: Time spent on Twitch jumped 23% in March as people spent an astonishing 1.3 Billion hours on the popular video streaming site. (Source: Streamlabs)

Cable Comeback: Cable television’s share of the coveted A25-54 demo against the major broadcasters continues to be a strong 71%. Cable News, in particular, The Fox News Channel, was the most-watched cable network in the U.S. in March. (Source: Nielsen)

Daytime is Prime: Time spent watching streaming video content during the afternoon between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. across Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon has surged of more than 40% (Source: Conviva)

Yes, Facebook: While not as trendy as TikTok, Facebook is still the largest social media network in the world and remains popular with older adults who are more isolated than ever during COVID-19. Activity on the platform spiked between 20-70% last month. (Source: Facebook)


Eh ESPN: Without live sports, ESPN’s prime-time ratings alone are down over 50% and show no signs of improving, possibly until 2021. While the network will get a likely bump from the Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, it will be short-lived. (Source: Nielsen Ratings)

Radio Silent: While streaming video has surged the same cannot be said for streaming audio listenership. Traditional radio, streaming music, and even the recently popular podcasting formats have all seen a significant decline over the last month. Most audiology content is consumed on-the-go, so it makes sense that life at home is tuning out this medium. (Source: Podtrac. MRC)

No Papers: While most people are seeking news they don’t want it delivered and not just because there is concern over the coronavirus on the paper itself. The content itself is old news as information changes every hour. Ironically, at a time when the news is so important – local community newspapers are hurting the most. And those papers struggle to compete online as industry consolidation provides a template website lacking a good digital experience.


While medium strengths might ebb and flow, one thing is certain – pulling the plug completely on media is just not a good business strategy.

While we can identify media winners and losers today, historical data from the Great Recession and data from a recent study show that even just a six-month media absence will result in an estimated 39% drop in total brand awareness. (Source: Kantar)

More than ever before, people are hyper-focused on their health, well-being, finances, and social relationships. Therefore, our advice is, if you are a brand that can help people in these areas – be seen (again, assuming the message is right).

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