UK Time Spent with Media 2020

Video Is the Biggest Beneficiary During the COVID-19 Crisis

Executive Summary

Stay-at-home orders have led to an unsurprising bump in our time spent totals. However, not all changes are created equal, with TV and digital video time seeing a marked uptick at the expense of print media and audio.

How has the pandemic affected our time spent forecasts?

The prevailing trend for time spent with media in the UK has been a plateauing of consumption. The added impetus of the countrywide lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic means we’ve made a pretty significant upward revision to our 2020 forecast. Instead of the plateau that we’d expected to see this year, total time spent with media will rise nearly a half hour.

Which mediums will experience the biggest gains and losses?

The biggest gains will be made across digital media, with digital video seeing a particularly large bump. However, traditional video (in the form of TV) will also see a 2020 spike as UK adults look for ways to be informed and entertained. And the visual element will be to the detriment of audio, with both traditional radio and digital audio failing to see any pickup during lockdown. Print media, meanwhile, will witness the biggest decline in time spent—it will be down 13.5% in 2020.

What will consumption look like post-pandemic?

Digital media will feel the aftereffects of the pandemic bump, with increased time spent being maintained into 2022. TV’s resurgence will be temporary, though, with viewing time returning to lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecast for UK time spent with media—with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic taken into consideration—broken down by traditional and digital consumption.

KEY STAT: The time that UK adults spend consuming TV and digital video will see a 24-minute spike this year. Digital video will see the biggest bump, 14 minutes, but TV won’t be far behind.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. UK Time Spent Summary: Mixed Media Results
  3. Video Viewing Surges as People Seek Info and Entertainment
  1. Audio Isn’t Picking Up the Slack
  2. Social Distancing Means a Slight Swell in Social Media Time
  3. Key Takeaways
  1. Read Next
  2. Media Gallery

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Bill Fisher


Peter Vahle
Forecasting Analyst

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