How Brands Can Adapt to Changes in Media Consumption Trends


By Veronica Amus

Sales Development Associate


Media consumption is drastically shifting in 2020, as consumers have access to more platforms and devices than ever. COVID-19, cord-cutting, and the increase of social media are all making waves within the digital industry, changing how brands connect with consumers.

With people spending more time at home because of COVID-19, brands are forced to find new avenues and messaging to connect with their consumers. Retail brands are focusing on online sales, rather than driving consumers in-store. Restaurants are connecting with consumers via social media and pushing for take-out orders. Automotive brands are letting consumers know they are there to help and are offering deals to help relieve financial burdens. 16% of adults are spending more time than ever on social media because of Coronavirus, and streaming music/audio is up 7% because of the pandemic. Brands are moving away from digital out-of-home ads and geo-fencing locations and shifting towards mediums that are seeing spikes in usage as people are cooped up at home.

The Rise of Streaming and Social Media Apps

By 2023, there will be 12.6MM new households cutting the cord with their pay-TV subscription. As you can imagine, there will continue to be a rapid shift toward digital video and streaming service over the next few years, and all major syndicated networks are making sure they have their share in the game. Peacock, NBCs newest streaming platform, and Disney+, are some of the most recent streaming platforms to enter the game and have consumers hooked. 24% of U.S. adults agree that they are watching more shows/films on streaming services because of COVID-19. Brands need to assess their audiences and consider shifting advertising dollars from traditional TV to Connected TV and OTT to better suit the changing times.

Social media has become one of the most popular news sources, especially for Millennials. 24% of internet users turn to social media to get their news as it is easy and convenient for them to follow their favorite sources. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular sources for news and more than half (55%) of U.S. adults are getting at least some information about the coronavirus on social media. While Facebook and Twitter are being used for news, Instagram and TikTok are the platforms people are turning to for an escape during these unique times. As Instagram’s IGTV is becoming more popular, they rolled out ads within their longer-form video. Instagram Stories, its most popular feature, has seen an uptick in engagement since the outbreak. While TikTok is still newer, they experienced a significant surge in users during the coronavirus pandemic. During March, the platform added over 12MM users, and the average user time went up 48%. By the end of 2020, TikTok is anticipated to increase its user base to 45MM.

Five Things Brands Must Do in Order to Adapt to Changing Media Trends

1.      Generate Video Content—In the U.S., the number of people who watch live video content will increase from 136.4 million in 2020 to 154.7 million in 2023. Capitalize on the number of people spending time at home for the coronavirus pandemic and consider streaming ads when possible.

2.     Mobile First—Due to Coronavirus, 73% of users reported spending more time on their smartphones, with the biggest increases occurring among Gen Z and Millennials.


3.     Focus on eCommerce Channel—having a strong online presence is going to be pivotal for small businesses. By relying more on digital connections and ecommerce, businesses can expand their customer base and connect with existing clients. 66% of small businesses will rely on ecommerce more after the coronavirus pandemic.

4.     Alter Your Messaging—The pandemic has consumed people’s everyday lives and they are itching to return to a “normal” life. While being empathetic of the current times, make sure your messaging is appropriate and caters to consumers’ new way of life.

5.     Social is King—Broaden your horizons and advertise on a variety of platforms. 73% of social users are on over three different platforms. 13% use over ten platforms. Don’t limit your ads to just one or two platforms, you will miss out on a large percentage of your audience. 

Every brand needs to alter their media strategy with the coronavirus pandemic and consumers changing their behavior patterns. MNI Targeted Media is here to help you understand how your audience’s consumption habits have changed and how to best navigate a new digital strategy.


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