Nielsen News: Pandemic Habits and Their Impact

Interested in news from global Nielsen? Read on.

Young, Diverse Audiences Are Leaning into TV News

TV news is one of the long-standing, dependable choices when it comes to media offerings. In the times of a pandemic, widespread social unrest and a U.S. presidential election, it remains a vital connection to both the world at large and our local communities for the Americans. Engagement this year has not been a problem, with news consumption rising even as outdoor activities picked up during the spring and summer months. In September, American adults were watching an average of 7 hours and 5 minutes of TV news per week, which is up 23% from the same period last year.

Importantly, the news engagement over the past year has shattered any residual stereotyping that the news only appeals to older Boomers and members of the Greatest Generation. In fact, consumers 18-34 increased their total news consumption by 134% between 2019 and 2020. There’s no question that 2020 has presented an array of national and international topics to drive news engagement, and local TV news maintains its stance as the option with the greatest reach.

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Wagering Ad Spend on the Rise as October Delivers Major Finals

Spring is traditionally the peak time for wagering advertising each year, and with the packed sporting calendar, spend from the wagering industry is predicted to reach new heights in 2020. Wagering campaigns and offers have to follow regulations, meaning it can only run on certain platforms and at certain times. Due to that, wagering companies often look to partner with sporting bodies through sponsorship. These partnerships provide wagering companies with significant exposure during major events.

Nielsen’s Ad Intel data shows that the advertising outlay of the wagering sector has experienced steady growth over the past three years. Although retail-based gambling has been negatively affected by COVID-19, the ad spend of the gambling industry has remained robust in 2020.

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An Online Twist to a Retail Stalwart

After eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has become the shopping channel of choice for a surplus of new customers. The increasing reliance on e-commerce has transformed online shopping into the “convenience store of the future”. And that has critical implications for brands and retailers. “This will require a rethink of how to deliver ease, speed and utility, not only for home-bound shoppers, but also for those tapping into online shopping for more immediate solutions,” says Ailsa Wingfield, executive director, Nielsen Intelligence Unit.

Instant gratification becomes a significant consideration as online becomes the vehicle to meet rising consumer expectations, especially in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) space. And speed will be the biggest convenience hurdle for brands and retailers to deliver on as consumer expectations about online shopping rise. Before the pandemic, the average consumer typically accepted delivery timetables for what they were, that goes for the time of lockdown as well – people understood that delays and out-of-stocks were simply a fact of life. Today, nearly at the end of 2020, our expectations for service, supply and delivery are growing far less forgiving than they were in March.

E-commerce was certainly not born out of the pandemic, but the pandemic has elevated consumer adoption and reliance in ways that would have otherwise taken years. Consequently, brands and retailers now need to innovate to meet elevated expectations.

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