How Consumers Utilize Local Media during COVID-19

utilize local media

As the COVID-19 pandemic began changing our world, it also created some significant shifts across the advertising and media industry. One noteworthy shift is how consumers access and utilize local media, along with how much. Recent data from Nielsen provides insight into these behaviors, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also during recent years. This data offers advertisers insight into the current state of advertising and local media consumption, along with ideas on what to expect in the future.

Previous Trends in Consumers’ Local Media Behavior

Although local media consumption has experienced some significant shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also important to look at how consumer behavior has changed in recent years.

For example, media consumption did not just rise with the introduction of a pandemic. Between 2018 and 2019, consumers increased their average time spent on devices by 1 ½ hours. This lead to approximately 12 hours of media consumption per day.

The amount and type of devices consumers use is also worth noting when looking at media consumption. After all, there are numerous ways consumers can access content, ranging from smart speakers to TVs to smart watches. In fact, the average household has 51 devices! Between 2018 and 2019, there has been a significant increase in in-home connected devices, whereas non-connected devices (such as DVR and DVD players) have seen a decrease.

Current Trends in Local Media Consumption During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been significant changes in consumer behavior and how they utilize local media. As expected, local media consumption has increased as people stay at home and tune-in to their local news sources for information (creating higher news ratings by up to 50%); in fact, at Media Venue we have noticed this uptick in news ratings across almost all local news stations, although these are starting to go back to normal.

These trends also apply to radio. Although some may initially think that radio consumption would be down due to less people commuting, 80% of people reported listening to the radio the same amount or more during the COVID-19 pandemic than before. In fact, listening time has increased by an hour per day! In this case, we have seen the setting and method of radio consumption change due to COVID-19.

What the Changes in Consumers’ Local Media Behavior Means for Advertisers

As these changes take place, many business owners are left wondering how to proceed with advertising their business during the COVID-19 pandemic and what these changes in local media behavior mean for their advertising strategy.

The recommended course of action is to continue advertising your business, even if you must reduce the amount. Continuing with advertising throughout the rest of 2020 is crucial. Not doing so can lead to an 11% decrease in revenue for your business next year.

Even more, the rise of media consumption presents opportunities to build brand awareness with a larger audience. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, spot TV units have increased in 77 of 132 markets. Categories that originally declined during the start of COVID-19 have also begun to rebound as the nation reopens. Continuing with advertising during the rise in media consumption is important to help your business build up brand awareness or drive action to online sales, especially if your business’s in-store shopping option is closed or has reduced hours.

How Media Venue Can Help Reach Your Target Audience

Although the changes in media consumption caused by COVID-19 can feel overwhelming, they do not have to be confusing. At Media Venue, we are keeping a close watch on these changes and how they affect advertising. That way, we can continue to provide our clients with the best advertising plans to meet their business goals. Whether you are looking to establish or adjust your marketing strategy during COVID-19 (or simply looking to continue your current advertising plan), you can trust that you will have a great advertising partner by your side when you choose Media Venue.

Ready to get your business on-air? Email Jaclyn today at and visit the Media Venue website to learn more about our traditional and digital advertising capabilities.

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about our blogger

About Our Blogger

Charlotte Mason has more than 3 years of experience in the digital media industry. She is primarily focused on writing, social media management, and email marketing. Her enthusiasm for the creative aspects of marketing keeps her regularly seeking innovative advertising solutions for her clients.

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