Tuned In PT 1: TV consumption & Covid-19

Published on March 26, 2020

With much of the UK workforce confined to work from the comfort of their own homes over the course of this last week, TV viewing figures have, unsurprisingly, seen a significant boost.

Figures released by ITV highlight how their daytime schedule is enjoying a surge of new viewers, with Loose Women leading the way (+76% YoY). In fact, last Wednesday proved to be the strongest performance of ITV1 daytime since 2013.

Reports of a forecast 30% decline in TV adspend in April across the total TV landscape – driven by holiday companies, airlines and high-street retail being forced to cancel campaigns – combined with these large increases in viewing is sure to push drops of up to 50% in TV cost per thousands YoY.

One of the core benefits to this is the change in audience profile of cheaper daytime ad space, with advertisers able to reach both a younger and working audience that ordinarily could only be reached in more expensive peak dayparts.

And it’s not only traditional TV that is feeling the benefit of this surge in viewing as ITV Hub has experienced a 39% increase in hours consumed over the course of the last 3 weeks.

So what does this all mean for advertisers? Well, we could see significant airtime availability for those seeking to capitalise on higher audiences and possibly, reduced costs. And for those brands with budgets already committed, they could see significantly higher deliveries as a result.

Grant Crymble is Managing Partner at UM Birmingham, responsible for media strategy, insight and advice.