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New Survey: Post-Pandemic Plans Bode Well for Entertainment and Streaming Services

Watching TV
(Image credit: Comcast)

 NEW YORK, NY—A new survey from Integral Ad Science finds that some pandemic behaviors, such as growing usage of streaming, will continue in the post-pandemic world while many consumers are also looking forward to getting back to pre-pandemic activities like going to the movies. 

The new research, `Pandemic Effects: What’s Next in Shifting Consumer Priorities,’ found that 43% of Americans surveyed say going to the movies is high on their list of priority activities as restrictions ease and social activities resume and that in the next 12 months, 41% of consumers are looking to increase spending on entertainment. 

About two fifths of respondents (39%) also 39% said they're looking forward to watching live shows this year.

The survey also found that 39% said they subscribed to/watched online streaming services more often in the past year and that 29% intend to continue subscribing to online streaming services more often in the next year.  

“Our latest research offers an essential look into the current state of consumer behavior as the state of COVID-19 protocols evolve,” said Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS. “The pandemic transformed many shopping and social habits to their core. Consumers will maintain some new behaviors adopted during quarantine, while returning to other pre-pandemic activities, especially around physical shopping. Digital marketers should take these major shifts into consideration when designing their future campaigns in order to make every impression count.”

Some of the survey’s findings will have important implications for local broadcast stations and media outlets as they work to rebuild some of their traditional retail advertising revenue. 

The  research shows consumers prioritized convenience above all else during the height of the pandemic by shifting to more online shopping (59%), dining and cooking at home (53%), and using delivery and pick-up services (46%). Additionally, 83% of respondents indicated they will continue at least one of these activities once restrictions are lifted to maintain the convenience.

But the survey also found that Americans are ready to head back to bars, restaurants and other pre-pandemic activities after a year of lockdown protocols. About 65% of respondents named dining out at restaurants as the number one social activity that they’re looking forward to resuming. Additionally, consumers ranked vacation/seeing friends (61%), traveling (55%), and going to the movies (43%) as top priorities. In addition, 78%  of consumers reported feeling extremely or very comfortable engaging in social activities now that restrictions are easing.

Despite the readiness to resume in-person activities, consumers report they will maintain researching products online before purchasing, with 89 percent of consumers reporting their spending will increase or remain the same in the next year. 

Most Americans (75%) indicated they will stick with shopping at local and small businesses that may have struggled during the pandemic. However, 51% of U.S. consumers will now be splitting their time between online channels and physical stores, meaning brands need to align their online and offline strategies, IAS reported. 

The IAS survey was based on responses from 991 U.S. consumers.