Industry Insights and Trends
That Define These Dynamic Times

Discover how consumer purchase behavior and media consumption
are evolving as a result of the global pandemic.

Given the challenges we’re facing in all aspects of life, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing drastic shifts in consumption and behavior in our industry. It’s important to stay up-to-date with trends in the space, so that we can work with advertisers to provide the most effective campaigns across Connected TV and second-screen devices.

In the below, we aim to capture some of the most topical and relevant trends and statistics that we’re seeing during these challenging times so that advertisers have a better understanding how to best adapt and optimize their campaigns.

Additionally, check out the latest Unruly & Tremor Video collaboration based on brand new consumer study that uncovers fresh insights about the power of CTV, including its increased effectiveness in driving consumer actions relative to linear TV. See the full survey results here.

Bookmark this page and stay tuned for more updated insights and trends.


Latest Trends & Insights

NEW AND EXCLUSIVE: Tremor Video and Unruly’s 2020 Holiday Insights Report

Holiday Insights Guide
  • 64% reporting they are just as — or more — excited about the holidays this year
  • 42% of consumers think holiday ads should reference COVID-19, while 57% want ads to make them feel happy
  • 36% want ads to make them feel inspired, 30% want ads to make them feel nostalgic, 21% want to be amused, 22% want to be informed, 17% want to be surprised, and 20% want ads to amaze them
  • 41% of consumers report decreased comfort with shopping in person, which has been increasing online shopping patterns
  • 75% plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online, and 53% will increase the frequency of their online shopping

EMarketer Revises Its Digital Ad Spend Forecast Upward (Yes, There’s Actually Some Good News) (AdExchanger)

  • At this week’s Programmatic I/O event, eMarketer confirmed that programmatic advertising will return to normal growth trends in 2021 
  • The rebound in 2021 is coupled with a more optimistic 7.5% growth rate for digital advertising spend in 2020 compared to the previously reported 1.7% back in June 2020 

US Digital Video 2020 Report (eMarketer)

  • 3% increase in CTV usage from 2020 (206.2MM users) to 2021 (212.5MM users) 
  • 7.4% increase in households embracing non-pay TV platforms from 2020 (43.3MM) to 2021 (46.5MM), coupled with a 3% decline in traditional pay-TV households 
  • OTT video viewership estimate went up from 192.7 million to 207.5 million
  • 222.0 million subscription OTT viewers by 2024 is now expected, up from our previous estimate of 210.4 million
  • Disney+ has quickly added users since its launch in late 2019. It will have 72.4 million US monthly viewers and make up 34.9% of all subscription OTT viewers

20 Political Ad Spend Estimate Rises To Near $11B, Presidential Campaigns Ad Spend $5.2B (MediaPost)

  • 2020 will now hit $10.8 billion, according to an estimate from the Center for Responsive Politics — 50% higher than the 2016 presidential election period
  • $5.2 billion is predicted in overall political advertising spend
  • Kantar CMAG forecast a $6.5 billion total political advertising 2020 season — where broadcast TV would receive a little more than half that total — $3.5 billion; with digital media at $1.8 billion, cable TV at $1.2 billion and radio at $500 million

Heading Into The Final Stretch, Political Advertisers Are Relying More On Connected TV (Forbes)

  • Increase in CTV political ad dollars is growth in consumer adoption (especially during the pandemic and ensuing economic slowdown), and increases in streaming video content and commercial inventory
  • Nielsen reports in second quarter 2020, time spent with streaming video grew to over 25% of total TV minutes, an increase from 19% from fourth quarter 2019
  •  CTV content is more brand safe for candidates than social media content, which most voters consider to be unreliable when it comes to information on candidates
  • Many viewers after exposed to a campaign message on CTV will seek further information on the candidate such as visiting their website
  • Data driven CTV also allows for candidates to integrate a wide variety of information including their own first party information, public voting records with more personalized data
  • CTV can track the programs and commercials that are watched. All this information can be used to hyper target voters
  • Another attribute with CTV is its retargeting capabilities, Tremor Video’s Plawin, explains, “Retargeting technology empower political advertisers to engage the most receptive audiences with 1:1 messaging in real-time across all screens and platforms

US Travel Ad Spending Will Plunge by 41.0% This Year (eMarketer)

  • 41.0% is what US travel digital ad spending will drop by this year to just $3.24 billion
  • No other industry will decline as fast or spend as little

U.S. Ad Economy Rises 5.9% In August, First Expansion Since March (MediaPost)

  • 5.9% is what the the U.S. advertising marketplace grew in August — its first monthly year-over-year expansion since March
  • In fact, within the Ad Market Tracker database, the biggest advertisers represented by the top 10 advertising categories increased their ad spending in August 8.4% over August 2019
  • In August, digital ad spending soared 17.9% over August 2019
  • During the same period, national TV advertising declined 10.8%

Not A Good Year For Pay TV: More Than 6 Million US Households Will Cut The Cord In 2020 (AdExchanger)

  • 6.6 million United States households will cut the cord this year, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on pay TV trends, released Monday
  • By 2024, more than one-third of all US households will have canceled their pay TV subscriptions, and fewer than half will still be shelling out for a cable package
  • 15% is what traditional TV ad spending will drop by this year to $60 billion, which is the lowest it’s been in nearly a decade

Study: 80% Of U.S. CTV Viewers Watch Ad-Supported Content (MediaPost)

  • 85% reported currently subscribing to at least one paid streaming service — and 79% specifically reported subscribing to Netflix
  • 56% reported subscribing to cable, 36% were cord cutters, and 8% were cord nevers
  • 80%, reported watching at least some ad-supported CTV programming
  • CTV ad personalization is seeing some success
  • 60% of respondents said they’d seen ads that they have an interest in
  • 42% of CTV viewers said they dislike seeing ads, however 58% reported generally positive attitudes about ads based on ads making it possible for them to watch free content, being entertained by ads, and ads providing information about brands they’re interested in and informing their purchase decisions
  • CTV viewers said they were are looking for ways to increase access to content without increasing cost

Merkle: Brands Increase Online Ad Budgets, Concerned About FedEx, UPS Holiday Meltdown (MediaPost)

  • This year’s challenges and questions focus on when the shopping season will begin and whether FedEx and UPS can keep up with the deliveries
  • FedEx projects an average of 100 million parcels will ship daily in the U.S. across all carriers some time in 2023 compared with its previous forecast of hitting that milestone in 2026
  • Despite logistical concerns, brands are increasing holiday ad budgets

Retail, Marketing Video Views, Time Watched Up Triple Digits In Q2 (MediaPost)

  • eMarketer has forecast that the COVID pandemic will drive a 14% decline in U.S. brick-and-mortar store sales this year, as ecommerce grows 18%, to achieve a 20% share of total retail sales
  • As a result, many brands, including Nike and Levi Strauss, are rapidly shifting toward direct-to-consumer-driven strategies
  • That, in turn, has led to increased use of video
  • Global retail/marketing views on desktop and laptop computers maintained a majority share
  • Views on smartphones rose by 136% to reach a 43% share — up from 39% in second-quarter 2019
  • Tablets saw views increase 13%
  • The real news was in connected TVs. While they still command less than a 1% share of total views, they saw the largest growth in the quarter: 307%.
  • CTVs also maintained their growth momentum better than other devices. Their views grew by 383% in April, 309% in May and 223% in June.

The Nielsen Total Audience Report: August 2020 (Nielsen)

  • Video streaming increased from 19% in fourth-quarter 2019 to 25% in second-quarter 2020
  • Daytime television viewership has increased with more people working from home. Local news in particular saw a large uptick based on viewers wanting to stay updated on the latest news in their area

TV Set Usage Soars, Attention And Viewability Decline During COVID-19, Study Finds (MediaPost)

  • Viewer attention to COVID-19-related brand advertising over the first two-and-a-half months of the crisis decreased by 13% from March 1 through May 17. At the same time, “attention” to OTT programming increased 20%. 

Q2 Video Views Up 64% In North America, 40% Globally; CTV Leads Growth (MediaPost)

  • 160% year-over-year (for Q2 CTV Views) on a global basis (after 30% growth in Q1) and 548% in North America. For the first half, they rose 67% globally and 428% in North America
  • 40% of video viewership grew globally and 64% in North America during the quarter — particularly notable given that Q2 typically sees slower growth than Q1. For the full first half, views rose more than 30% globally
  • Trends could suggest that consumers’ entertainment consumption habits “may be permanently shifting away from linear TV
  • OTT streaming players have fed the growth by increasing available content and attracting customers, with Netflix adding nearly 26 million subscribers and the till-new Disney+ topping 54.6 million subscribers in Q2
  • Smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as CTVs, saw 80%-plus gains in views in April, 39% in May, and 53% in June in North America

Foursquare COVID Update for August

  • Places associated with road trips, such as gas stations, convenience stores, auto parts, fast food and hotels, are seeing upticks in traffic in the Midwest, indicating consumers may be enjoying road trips and local getaways
  • 9-10% of parks and trails in the Northeast saw an uptick in visits this past week, indicating consumers in this region are making the most of the summer season outdoors
  • Auto dealerships in the West have seen more notable upticks in foot traffic this past week compared to other regions, indicating that consumers in this region may be in the market for a new vehicle
  •  Foot traffic to hotels continues to pick up, especially in the Northeast, with a particularly notable uptick over the past week (down only 5% as of July 31 vs. down 10% the week prior)

80% Of U.S. CTV Viewers Watch Ad-Supported Content (MediaPost)

  • 85% reported currently subscribing to at least one paid streaming service — and 79% specifically reported subscribing to Netflix. More than half (56%) reported subscribing to cable, 36% were cord cutters, and 8% were cord nevers
  • 80% reported watching at least some ad-supported CTV programming
  • And when asked, “Are you more likely to choose the free ad-supported version of a streaming service or pay for an ad-free experience?,” 60% said they were more likely to choose the free version with ads
  • 60% of respondents said they’d seen ads that they have an interest in
  • 42% of CTV viewers said they dislike seeing ads, however 58% reported generally positive attitudes about ads based on ads making it possible for them to watch free content, being entertained by ads, and ads providing information about brands they’re interested in and informing their purchase decisions

US Retail Digital Ad Spending 2020 (eMarketer)

  • 3.1% is what retail digital ad spending is predicted to increase this year, to $28.23 billion
  • Retail will remain the largest digital ad spending vertical
  • The retail industry is extremely balanced in its approach to digital advertising. Retailers will spend 47.9% of their budgets on display ads and 47.5% on search ads. Within display, retailers will spend 48.4% on video ads.
  • $18 billion this year is what retail ad spending is predicted to do on mobile, while desktop/laptop spending will reach nearly $10 billion.
  • US retail digital ad spending will increase by just 3.1% this year, for a total of $28.23 billion. Next year’s growth will rebound to 25.7%.

Connected TV (CTV) Usage Remains Above Pre-Covid-19 Levels as Traditional TV Viewing Normalizes (Nielsen)

  • As of March 30, 2020, after COVID-19 began to surface in the U.S. and quarantined living began, total hours spent with CTV devices was up 81% year over year. That increase equates to nearly 4 billion hours of CTV use per week
  • The increase in viewing in the living room speaks to the growth of co-viewing on CTV as consumers choose to watch content together
  • 64% co-viewed in the living room
  • Co-viewing grew across broadcast, cable and syndicated TV viewing also rose 2 percentage points (from 34% to 36%) between the week of March 2 and the week of May 4
  • 55% of subscription video on demand (SVOD) viewing among persons 2+ peaked the week of March 23

Back-to-school marketing is more somber under COVID-19, but carries silver linings (Marketing Dive)

  • While there are fewer back-to-school ads running so far compared to year’s past, brands ramping up their efforts now could have a better chance to stand out
  • “It’s really addressing the issues that are on young people’s minds in the absence of school, whether that’s tackling issues of loneliness, isolation, managing expectations,” Jay Kamath, Chief Creative Officer, Haymaker
  • Brands are getting scrappier in their approach to production of ads. The end result are ads that are more professional-looking than the typical remote shoot, but authentic and representative of different learning setups parents are contending with, including homeschooling
  • Brands are also leveraging social platforms, such as TikTok to connect to young audiences

OTT-CTV Could Be A Potent Ad Force In 2020 Election (MediaPost)

  • $21.9 billion in 2018 to around $56 billion is what Digital TV Research predicts AVOD distribution will reach in 2024 (nearly tripling)
  • $10 billion is what eMarketer forecasts, the OTT-CTV ad spend will reach by 2021
  • Political advertisers using linear or broadcast TV were limited in their ability to target specific audiences with their TV ads
  • With OTT-CTV advertising, advertisers can target audiences with their TV budgets as precisely as they previously did with their digital budgets (Targets include individual households, based on past political contributions, party affiliations, voting records, household income, purchase history, and a wide range of demographic variables)

The Pandemic Puts the Spotlight on a Rising Esports Industry (eMarketer)

  • 12% to $196 million, is what esports ad revenue will grow this year, about $3 million shy of our pre-pandemic estimate
  • While sponsorships (including advertisements sold as part of a sponsorship package) make up the largest segment of esports revenues, additional revenues come from media rights, merchandising, ticket sales and publisher fees

The IAB Re-entry Report

  • 17MM new households are expected to continue grocery shopping online after the pandemic
  • 69% of consumers claim to have tried a new brand (across a variety of categories) during the pandemic
  • Legacy CPG brands are leaning in to D2C distribution straight from their websites (Heinz, Pepsi, FritoLay)
  • Legacy retailers are beefing up their BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) capabilities (Old Navy, Bloomingdales, Starbucks)
  • US adoption of mobile payment platforms (10%) currently lags far behind other countries, but signs of a change are evident

Time Spent with Subscription OTT Video Content in the US Will Surpass an Hour for the First Time This Year (eMarketer)

  • eMarketer estimates that daily time with Subscription OTT services will surpass one hour for the first time
  • Daily viewership is expected to increase into 2021 and 2022 as well

Consumer Video Spending To Remain Flat As OTT Rises, Traditional Media Declines: Analyst (MediaPost)

  • Consumer spending on OTT video and services (SVOD, vMVPD) is estimated to reach $51B by 2024, while traditional video will drop to $88B

Archived Trends & Insights

HBO Max’s Price Too High for Most Americans’ Streaming Budgets (Bloomberg)

  • 51% of Americans spend $15 or less on streaming platforms per month
  • 74% spend $25 or less, meaning only about a quarter of respondents would be willing to carry both HBO Max ($15) and Netflix’s most commonly-used $13 plan
  • When ranking by “essential” services, HBO Max came in behind Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video

PlaceIQ: Getting Away: Moving From Cities

  • When looking at residence changes during the pandemic, the biggest gainers seem to be warm-weather environs like AZ, FL, NV, and TX
  • Some of this population may be traditional snowbirds who are relocating out of season, potentially shifting the population balance from urban centers to warmer vacation-type areas
  • On the auto front, traffic to dealerships has nearly returned to its pre-COVID levels:

It Pays To Be Brand That Helps Others (MediaPost)

  • Brands that incorporate charitable donations into their business model stand to benefit during this difficult time
  • 91% of consumers claimed a high likelihood to switch loyalty to brands that support good causes

Additional brand benefits include:

  • Attracting “purpose-driven” customers, who, according to Nielsen, include the ⅔ of consumers who will pay more for products/services that make a positive social impact
  • Boosting brand recall through recognizable programs like TOMS’ “buy one, give one”
  • Standing up for causes the company (and its consumers) believe in

Best Practices For Virtual Experiences (MediaPost)

As brands have shifted experiential marketing budgets to virtual events, there are a number of best practices to keep in mind for a quality audience experience:

  • Focus on storytelling: despite the limitations of a virtual environment, attendees should feel like they’re in a new environment with a cohesive narrative and transitional moments to drive home the experience
  • Account for A/V quality: as most of us can now attest, a poor connection or A/V setup can immediately sap the productivity out of a business call, and this is even more important for an experiential marketing event when attendees may not be as forgiving as business colleagues
  • Consider the before and after: setting clear expectations upfront for what the event is (and is not) is important to ensure attendees feel the event was a good use of their time. Afterwards, finding creative ways to share small snapshots of the experience via social media or paid media can extend the lifespan of the event and lead into the brand’s next event
  • Engage the audience: opportunities to allow attendee participation, keeping in mind the need for moderation and keeping content brand safe, can elevate the experience to truly memorable status and help consumers feel like part of the brand’s team

Google Sued Over Location Privacy By Arizona Attorney General (MediaPost)

  • Arizona’s attorney General claims Google deceived Android users in an attempt to gain and leverage location data
  • Google disputes the lawsuit as a mischaracterization of their services, but according to a 2018 AP report, even users who had tried to turn off their location sharing services were still in many cases being tracked by the company

Live TV Sports Is Back, NASCAR Races To Higher Viewing (MediaPost)

  • NASCAR’s return saw similar success to recent sporting content like The Last Dance and the NFL Draft, with 6.3MM viewers tuning into the Real Heroes 400 on FOX

Prime-Time TV Season Ends Down 5%, Fox Leads Among 18-49 Viewers (MediaPost)

  • 5% decline in broadcast viewership for the primetime TV season that just came to a close
  • FOX was the only broadcast net to see an increase in A18-49 ratings, thanks in large part to their ownership of the Super Bowl this year, alongside Thursday Night Football and The Masked Singer

Travel’s Path Forward (Skift Research Webinar)

  • 46% drop in travel incidence (50+ miles from home, 1+ night) in January
  • 19% drop in travel incidence in April, suggesting we may be nearing a turnaround
  • There was a slight uptick in new travel booking in March/April, with travelers potentially lured by low prices
  • Skift saw increased optimism about the economy and personal financial security compared to the prior two months
  • Branded hotel chains were deemed the safest for limiting potential exposure to coronavirus
  • All-inclusive hotels/resort bookings are up due to the concept of “enclosed tourism”- this creates a proxy for isolation where travelers don’t have to leave the property and can stay for a week and head right home

Placed COVID-19 Weekly Update

  • Looking to Southern states that are leading re-opening efforts may provide clues to other regions to follow
  • While still below pre-pandemic levels, visits to restaurants, health/beauty services, and gyms are all bouncing back at varying rates, suggesting enthusiasm among a population that has been cooped up for the last two months

Pandemic Permanently Alters Gen Z (MediaPost)

  • While mortality rates for COVID-19 are much higher among older generations, Gen Z stands to be impacted incredibly heavily due to how many of them are in periods of transition that have been interrupted or permanently altered. A few key callouts with regard to the new reality for Gen Z
  • Due to delays in education, jobs, and finding their own living arrangements, some Gen Zers may be stuck in a teen mentality into their 20s, reliant on parents and unable to make the same purchasing decisions they may have expected pre-COVID
  • This may trickle down into Gen Zers’ ability to leave the house on a regular basis for travel, work, or pleasure
  • Stress levels across many generations may be heavily impacted, but experts expect a lingering mental health crisis among young adults that could persist for years or decades ahead

Premium Entertainment Streaming Services during COVID-19 (Medium)  

Virtually all major SVOD services have seen major increases in sign-ups since February, though for many, sign-up growth has slowed slightly from March into April

Some of this growth may be tied to more aggressive promotional pricing

While Netflix has seen significant global growth, its competitors have benefitted more in the US, closing the large gap in US subscriber households that Netflix has long enjoyed

CTV’s Share Of Video Impressions Rebounds After Q1 Dive (MediaPost)

  • Changing audience behaviors tied to sheltering in place led to a drop in CTV’s share of video impressions as more personal (and work-related) devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, saw share growth
  • After dipping through most of Q1, CTV’s share climbed back up to 42% after the first week and a half of May
  • 12% of video impressions were served across aggregator platforms in 1Q20, compared to 1% in 1Q19

Cord-cutting accelerates as empty restaurants, bars ditch cable (Axios)

  • While individual household cord cutting is expecting to accelerate through the pandemic, businesses and restaurants have been cutting the cord as well, likely in an attempt to implement cost cutting measures while workers and patrons are not populating these environments
  • “At 63% of occupied households, traditional Pay TV penetration has reached a level not previously seen since roughly 1995,” per analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson.
  • What remains to be seen is whether these services will re-subscribe as patrons (and content) return, or whether they will exercise their digital-first options for content consumption

PlaceIQ: Social Distance Tracker: Diverging data in rural and urban areas

  • Households located in more rural areas of the country (determined at a county level) are overall more likely to venture out and begin patronizing local businesses than those in urban areas
  • This trend is particularly noticeable for casual and fast casual restaurants

Placed: Foot traffic to several categories is returning to normal levels once again

  • Several categories are seeing visits returning to normal pre-COVID-19 levels, including fast casual restaurants, gas stations, auto shops, and convenience stores
  • Grocery store traffic has returned to standard levels
  • Visits to auto dealerships, while still down year-over-year, saw the largest uptick in visits as of May 1, particularly in the Midwest and South
  • Traffic to hardware stores has trended consistently upward since the pandemic began and continues to see increases

Ad Execs: Upfront Ad Spending To Decline 33%, If It Happens At All (MediaPost)

  • Advertiser Perceptions expects a significant decline in upfront spending based on reactions from 151 ad execs
  • 48% of execs say they don’t foresee committing to more than one quarter of media at a time

Bill Would Prohibit Internet Disconnections During COVID-19 Pandemic (MediaPost)

  • A newly proposed bill by Bernie Sanders and a pair of Democratic Senators would require telecoms and ISPs to keep households connected up to six months after the end of the pandemic, regardless of payment status

Unlocking What Consumers Really Want & How to Keep them Engaged Now and Later

Tremor and Unruly have joined forces to understand how consumer preferences on advertising have changed in light of recent privacy legislation and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A few key highlights/takeaways:

  • 72% of viewers are familiar with advertiser abilities to target and customize messaging to them
  • 50%+ of viewers are comfortable with ads relying on a variety of customization factors outside of personal information
  • Modern streaming video consumers understand and appreciate the explicit value exchange of free, ad-supported/rewarded content
  • 63% of audiences provided a positive opinion of rewarded ad experiences, and this understanding may translate to more positive perceptions of ads in AVOD environments
  • Mobile and CTV environments, largely cookie-free to begin with, are inherently less susceptible to the challenges introduced by cookie deprecation
  • Understanding the motivations and emotional state of your audiences is a vital element to ensuring your brand is going to stand out and thrive  

Linear TV Grows Without Sports, Netflix Also Higher (MediaPost)

  • 35% YoY growth in linear TV viewership for the period of 3/15-4/15
  • 115% growth in streaming viewership
  • 24% of TV viewing time is made up of streaming, up 60% from last year

OTT Viewing Doubled Since COVID Lockdown: TVision (Broadcasting + Cable)

  • 65% increase in OTT content viewership during daytime hours & doubled in the evening
  • 67% increase in OTT co-viewing during daytime hours

The NFL Draft 2020 TV Audience Insights Report April 2020, Alphonso

  • 40% higher than in 2019, and on average viewers watched 61 minutes of coverage

Destinations Remind Travelers Of Sights To Be Seen When Restrictions Lift (MediaPost)

While travel and tourism may take a while to return to their pre-coronavirus levels, various tourism destinations are getting creative with ways to keep themselves top of mind, as consumers stuck at home may find an escape in dreaming about or planning future trips

  • Visit Florida is sharing an interactive map of destinations with local out-of-staters, the idea being that these travelers can potentially safely travel by car to these destinations before airline travel picks back up again in earnest
  • Some NC visitor’s bureaus are re-focusing on how in-staters can help support local businesses safely during the crisis
  • Los Cabos Tourism is focusing on promoting their local talent, including fitness trainers who can provide at-home fitness routines

Emotional Decency In Post-Crisis Marketing (MediaPost)

The COVID-19 pandemic may have a lasting impact on consumers’ views of brands based on how those brands react during the crisis. A few recommendations/caveats on staying in consumers’ good graces:

  • Emphasize human-to-human contact: “The real question will be, ‘Will the bank treat me with respect and dignity, though I may have missed some payments and need a loan?’ and, ‘Can I talk to a human?’”
  • Reject emotional manipulation: Think about the relatability of celebrity endorsements and whether they truly represent your brand. Avoid imagery of perfect models and homes and reflect the reality people are living day-to-day
  • Accept their more complex view of their country: Establish trust by acknowledging the limitations in our supply chains, our government-coordinated response, and our healthcare system, and speak to the realities of the challenges those limitations create

Pandemic Brings Out Good In Auto Industry (MediaPost)

  • While most auto factories have shut down and demand has slowed, auto brands have leaned in on philanthropy to stay relevant and maintain their reputations
  • Lexus is sponsoring Culinary Masters to work with local communities on projects like helping to feed the homeless or medical workers
  • Mazda is providing oil changes and car cleaning services to healthcare workers
  • Ford employees are recording children’s book read-alongs throughout the world to share with kids at home
  • Other brands are developing masks, ventilators, and face shields

Mindshare Finds Nearly Half Of Americans Have ‘Run Out’ Of Things To Watch, Read, Listen To (MediaPost)

  • Nearly 50% of surveyed respondents felt they had run out of things to watch, read, and listen to
  • This comes at the same time that respondents are trying to put some limits on the amount of COVID-19-related news they’re consuming
  • Consumers have also shifted their purchasing habits toward arts and craft supplies, books, and board games

Data: 76% US homes subscribe to OTT (Advanced Television)

  • 76% of US homes held at least one OTT subscription through early April, up 6MM households since Q1
  • 12% of broadband home utilize vMVPD services
  • Comedy, faith/spirituality, and children’s programming all saw the highest share in viewership, while horror, war, and crime genres saw decreases

COVID-19 and its Continued Impact on the Auto Industry (Comscore)

While demand is still down year over year, Comscore’s VP of Auto, Dennis Bulgarelli, predicts that “early data shows a rebound may be just around the corner. Manufacturers are discussing dates for assembly plant reopenings and the country is looking to return to some sense of normalcy. In the meantime, existing inventories should be able to accommodate pent-up demand from prospects returning to the market.”

Auto Brand Searches Rise For ‘Near Me’ And Search Terms ‘Leases,’ ‘Cheap’ And ‘Recession‘ (MediaPost)

  • +22% uptick in auto searches tied to local dealerships
  • Increase in lease searches and affordable car models
  • 44% YoY increase in auto insurance searches

PlaceIQ: Regional Revivals Take Place Ahead of Orders

  • Uptick in QSR visits over the last few weeks
  • Greater variability between DMAs (demonstrated by the wider spread of lines later in the chart) can be attributed to the varying degrees to which cities and states have been hit by COVID-19, as well as the varying legislative responses and reopening plans


Mother’s Day: Homebound Family, Friends Plan Togetherness (MediaPost)

  • 339% YoY increase in searches for ways to celebrate Mother’s Day virtually between 4/9 and 4/23
  • Expected industries have seen sharp increases in search activity, including beer and wine delivery, flowers, cards, beauty products, and home decor

IAB, USC Study Reveals Rapid Shifts In Consumer Behavior Due To COVID-19 (MediaPost)

COVID-19 has had a bigger disruptive effect than 9/11 or even the start of WWII

Some of these shifts that have led to increased digital activity include:

  • 32% of those who had never bought online prior to the pandemic are now buying online
  • 44% of those who were online buyers say they’re now buying products online that they hadn’t purchased through that channel in the past
  • 36% are buying food online for the first time
  • 72% have increased use of communication technology

74% of Young Adults Say They’ve Cut Cord or Plan To (Broadcasting + Cable)

  • Cord cutting is expected to accelerate due to the lack of live sports currently airing
  • 64% of households were classified as cord nevers, cord cutters, or planning to cut the cord
  • More households were interested in ad-supported streaming services than SVOD services
  • 35% A18-34 preferred free or reduced-cost services with ads
  • 31% A18-34 preferred ad-free services

Streaming video market poised for more service switching and ‘cycling’ (Light Reading)

  • As content production is halted across broadcast and SVOD environments and consumers may be forced to reduce spending on entertainment
  • Some analysts predict households will cycle through SVOD subscriptions
  • AVOD platforms are not expected to be susceptible to this issue

‘In These Uncertain Times,’ Coronavirus Ads Strike Some Repetitive Notes (The Wall Street Journal)

  • While consumers may be tiring of generic concern-based messaging, advertisers should still be adapting to their message to the times as opposed to going back to business-as-usual creatives
  • 44% of respondents want ads to include information on companies’ service adjustments and updates, including store closures or new online options
  • 24% want to know what the advertiser is doing to help during the pandemic
  • Reebok was cited as an example through a Twitter outreach that customized workout plans based on the equipment people already had on hand in their homes

Key Takeaways from Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer

  • Show up and do your part: Brands have a vital role to play. Now is not the time to disappear, but to show up and use all your resources and creativity to make a difference
  • Don’t act alone: There is strength in collaboration. To truly help people during this crisis requires a joining of forces with others, most critically government
  • Solve, don’t sell: Brands should focus all efforts on finding appropriate and meaningful solutions to the problems people are facing today
  • Communicate with emotion, compassion, and facts: People are reassured by positive brand actions and commitments. Communicate with empathy to help both inform and calm

Innovid IQ Weekly Impression Tracking Insights (Innovid)

  • CTV surpassed mobile in share of weekly impressions for 4/12-4/18 (43% to 39%)
  • After a few weeks of declines, impression volume is on the rise for a number of key advertising verticals, including auto, CPG, finance, pharma, and retail

Coronavirus Ad Adjacency: A follow-up study for a changing digital landscape (IAS Insider)

75% of viewers say their opinion of a brand won’t be impacted by its ads appearing next to coronavirus content

Verticals that consumers want to hear from:

  • 56% Health/Pharma
  • 42% Government
  • 34% Education
  • 35% Not-for-profits
  • 25% Tech/Telco

Network Scatter Ad Terms Become ‘Flexible,’ Upfront Projected To Be ‘Very Light’ (MediaPost)

  • Due to both impending ad budget cancellations and a potential hole in new content programming heading into the fall TV season, this coming upfront is expected to be “among the lightest ever”
  • As a result, as advertiser budgets return, more scatter dollars may be at play on a quarter-by-quarter basis

National TV Impressions Maintain High Level, More Program Fragmentation (MediaPost)

  • As TV/streaming viewership continue to grow, the number of national TV network shows achieving a 0.5 or higher A18-49 rating has tripled since pre-virus days

Foursquare COVID-19 Update (Data through 4/3)

  • 32% increase in foot traffic to hardware stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s

  • Banking has returned to normal levels after an initial spike and decline (as of 4/3)

Apple, Google Partner On COVID-19 Mobile Tracing Tech To Identify Those Infected With Virus (MediaPost)

  • The two tech giants are collaborating on a program that will help track potential virus exposure and notify users when they may have been in recent contact with someone infected

Sling TV Makes Blue Package Free To All During Prime Time (MediaPost)

  • Sling is offering free access to A&E, AMC, Bravo, CNN, E!, FX, HGTV, HLN, MSNBC, Fox News and TLC from the hours of 5pm to midnight, no credit card required
  • This comes in the wake of Sling losing customers for the first quarter (4Q19, when they lost almost 100,000 subs)

D2C Brands Gain Amid Virus-Fueled Shopping (MediaPost)

  • +60% of D2C shoppers saying D2C brands in beauty/personal care, food, and pet care are more innovative, more engaging and more personalized
  • “Many D2C brands are actually poised for growth as so many consumers shift to online shopping.”

IAB Streaming Wars Wave 2 (IAS Integral Ad Science)

  • 66% of those over 60 watch streaming video on CTV devices
  • 20% of viewers have added a paid streaming subscription as a results of at-home quarantining
  • 44% have added a free streaming service (even higher percentages for 18-44s)
  • 47% of consumers plan to add a free streaming service in the next 12 months

Nielsen Data Says Alcoholic Beverage Sales Through The Roof (MediaPost)

  • 55% increase in alcoholic beverage sales
  • 75% increase in hard liquor sales
  • 66% increase in wine sales
  • 34% increase in beer
  • 456% increase in spiked seltzers sales
  • 243% increase in online alcohol sales

Video Ad Spend On News Sites Dropping; COVID-19 Content Blackouts Termed ‘Missed Opportunity’ (MediaPost)

  • Contrary to some assumptions, many articles and videos related to the pandemic actually elicit neutral or even positive sentiment
  • “For example, a video offering ‘self-care tips during quarantine’ is clearly going to evoke a more positive sentiment than an article featuring cold, hard COVID-19 statistics,” Chen notes

How to Avoid Sounding Tone-Deaf During The COVID-19 Shutdown (MediaPost)

  • Figuring out whether your brand can be of service to people in tangible ways is the essential first step
  • Ford is an example of how an advertiser perfectly read the current moment
  • Ford pulled TV campaigns promoting the Escape and Explorer that were slated to run during March Madness and instead ran spots on their plan to provide payment relief to customers impacted by the shutdown

ANA: Most Brands Have Adjusted Their Creative Since COVID-19 Named A Pandemic (MediaPost)

  • 92% of marketers polled by ANA had changed their creative as of 3/31. Key elements of adjusted creative included:
    • Refocused messaging to reflect empathy and report on how they are there to help 
    • Pulling most price/item messaging in favor of ‘We’re here for you” communications 
    • Favoring emotional messaging around social distancing and “We are here for you” over hard sales messages

Return to Latest Trends