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COVID-19: Tracking the Impact on Media Consumption

7 minute read | June 2020

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) sweeps the globe, consumers are being forced to dramatically change their purchase and media behaviors. Nielsen is tracking these changes and establishing navigation beacons for companies trying to plan for what comes next.

In the coming days, weeks and months, we are committed to continuing collaboration efforts with our clients and partners to ensure that our markets move forward in a safe, confident and smart manner—for the future health of our industry and people.


The impact of COVID-19 is widespread, and it will shape business and consumer behavior for months to come. And while the humanitarian and safety-related aspects of this outbreak are top of mind globally, it’s unquestionable that social distancing, quarantining and staying home have had significant effects on media consumption.


With improvements in technology, infrastructure and experience, coupled with a reduction in barriers to trial, such as delivery length or shipping costs, buyer adoption of online retail shopping has consistently increased over the last two years. Yet while those factors have resulted in pervasive consumer behavior changes, COVID-19 has caused another step change in the way consumers shop.


Staying put is what’s best for reducing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but home-bound consumers are having an immediate impact on brands. The pull-back on advertising will cut expenses in the short term but will affect a brand’s resilience. How can businesses support their brands and make money in such uncharted waters?


Unprecedented times like these bring massive challenges. Yet even during a crisis like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, businesses need to consider strategic plans and continue to invest in their brands. While sales may be down, it’s important to maintain—or increase—your share of the market. Continuing to invest in advertising will help set your company up for success when life eventually settles into a new normal. 

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