How coronavirus is changing our online habits

Kevin Mullins

Can we all agree that this global pandemic is all sorts of bad? Sickness, death, unemployment, and a worsening global economic situation just to name a few of my unfavorite things.

But amongst the bad, Visual Capitalist tells us there’s a silver lining.

Online Consumer Trends In The Covid-19 Age

With many of us stuck at home, we’re celebrating our newfound extra sofa-time consuming massive amounts of online content.

Websites, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, music, online gaming, and the various streaming platforms are seeing record-breaking consumption numbers. Things like the world’s courageous movie buffs, who are putting Hollywood’s pandemic storylines to the test. Like this one and this one.

According to a recent report by SaveOnEnergy, we’re seeing record spikes in energy consumption, streaming content, and online gaming. According to their blog post:

Netflix picked up nearly 16 million new global subscribers during the first three months of 2020, taking it to 183 million subscribers as the COVID-19 pandemic struck in Asia, Europe and then the United States.

We’re also seeing a record increase in online gaming.

  • Gaming downloads  are up 77% since March 1st
  • 46% of video game players in the United States are women
  • Just as many people under 18 play as those over 50

And it’s not only media. We’re seeing market defining trends in e-commerce and online retail, too.

Slackline’s recently-compiled data report gives us an excellent overview of which product categories are growing and which are falling. Look at the growth in bread machines, up 625%! Bread machine makers haven’t been this popular since “Leave It To Beaver.”

ecommerce covid 19 sales

Each of us is dealing with the global lockdown in unique ways. According to Visual Capitalist, age plays a major role in determining how we’re responding to the crisis.

How COVID-19 Affects Media Consumption by Age

According to Visual Capitalist (based on a study):

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc across the globe, people’s time that would have otherwise been spent perusing malls or going to live events, is now being spent on the sofa.

During this period of pandemic-induced social isolation, it’s no surprise that people are consuming vast amounts of media. Today’s graphics use data from a Global Web Index report to explore how people have increased their media consumption as a result of the outbreak, and how it differs across each generation.


0 3

Gen X

0 1


0 2

Gen Z


Getting Ahead Of the Trends

Yes, a negative new cycle is dominating right now. Business leaders, owners, and entrepreneurs, we’re all human too. We can fall into the negative news trap if we’re not careful.

Here’s the thing…

Just because the talking heads on cable news say that everything is bad doesn’t mean it’s true for you and me. We shouldn’t assume that everyone is suffering just because some are. This is a negative mental loop, which doesn’t help anyone.

As the graphics above illustrate, some business sectors are on fire, posting growth and gains they haven’t seen in decades.

Global Web Index found that over 80% of consumers in the U.S. and UK say they consume more content since the outbreak, with broadcast TV and online videos (YouTube, TikTok) being the primary mediums across all generations and genders.

Many businesses like Technology and IT, SaaS, content production, business consultancies, healthcare, scientific research, medical research, machinery manufacturing, food production, and logistics are projecting a banner year despite the crisis. Some because of it.

You can too.

Position your business to get ahead of the trends. Invest in your marketing and get your message out there. You’ll be surprised how growth finds you if you do the work now to prepare for it.

Want to get ahead but don’t know where to start? Start the conversation here.

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