COVID-19 Barometer: Consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations

March 25, 2020
Industry News
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With insights from more than 25,000 consumers across 30 markets, this research provides brand owners with clear direction during the pandemic crisis.

Today we released the results of our global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Surveying more than 25,000 consumers across 30 markets, the first wave of COVID-19 Barometer research helps ensure brands stay connected to their customers during the crisis.

Changing media habits

As countries move deeper into the pandemic, so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. In later stages of the pandemic, web browsing increases by 70%, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63% and social media engagement increasing by 61% over normal usage rates.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall, WhatsApp has seen a 40% increase in usage; in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27%, in mid-phase 41% and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51%. Spain experienced a 76% increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37%. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.

Increased usage across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced a 40%+ increase in usage from under-35-year-olds.

We also found that there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information, with 52% of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source. Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48% of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security. Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11% of people as a source of trustworthy information.

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About Kantar

Kantar is the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company. We understand more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than anyone else. Combining our expertise in human understanding with advanced technologies, Kantar’s 30,000 people help the world’s leading organisations succeed and grow.