Covid-19 transforms UK TV choices | Media Analysis | Business
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The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a deep, widespread and likely permanent shift to consuming services online, in particular how the UK public wants to watch entertainment, with in-person viewing losing out heavily to online says a survey from digital identity specialist ForgeRock.
ForgeRock new normal 30Sep2020
With fieldwork conducted by Vitreous, The New Normal – Living Life Online survey polled 1,000 British consumers between 3–9 September 2020 to understand how behaviours and preferences have evolved since the start of Covid-19 restrictions. Fundamentally, all sectors will continue to be affected by this change even after the pandemic, but some will see especially significant consumer shifts: majorities said they plan to consume entertainment (59%), shop (63%), access government services (68%), and conduct their personal banking (66%) mostly or only online, even after restrictions are lifted.

Looking at entertainment, the number of people preferring today to watch live sports, musical performances and films online has rocketed since the pandemic hit. Just over half (55%) now prefer to watch live sports online, a 27% increase since the onset of the pandemic. Just under half (46%) preferred to watch musical performances online, a 29% increase in this regard.

Three-fifths now preferred to watch films online, compared with just 36% that would prefer to watch in-person, a 14% increase. And even after restrictions are lifted, 59% of people said they plan to watch films, live sports and music mostly or only online including 30% who will do so exclusively online.

In a call to action from The New Normal – Living Life Online, Nick Caley, ForgeRock’s UK head said that the findings suggest that the pandemic is not a temporary disruption and that businesses in sports, live music and film must assume there will be no return to business as usual.

“Consumers have been gradually moving away from physical interactions and towards digital and online services for a number of years, but this trend has been turbocharged by Covid-19…this research suggests that these behaviour changes are not temporary. Having made the switch, many consumers have found that they actually prefer doing things online. [Brands] need to think of this shift to digital as a fundamental, permanent change that requires a strategic and co-ordinated response, not as a temporary disruption that can be weathered. Brands that can deliver smooth and seamless online services will find that the new customers gained during this period are likely to keep coming back.”