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HOLIDAY SHOPPING & ESSENTIALS

Coping with surging COVID-19 cases and widespread unemployment, almost 40% of Americans plan on spending less on gifts this holiday season, while only 11% plan to spend more. Of those that plan on spending less, 29% stated it’s from lost wages or income, 19% cited the coronavirus and 17% cited the poor economy. The average American plans on spending $886, with 55% saying they’ll do most of their shopping online, compared with 43% a year ago. Amazon remains the top destination for online shoppers with 37% of Americans shoppers using the platform, up 2 points from last year. Sites like Etsy gained 5 points, Walmart and big boxes each gained 4 points. (CNBC: 12/11/20)

Though COVID-19 cases have increased, it has not stopped U.S. consumers from heading into stores for essentials. According to a survey by Shopkick 92% of shoppers reported someone in their household is still purchasing essential items from physical stores. Although most consumers are still shopping for essentials in stores, 37% feel less comfortable doing so now. Items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies are now less available than they were a month ago. (CSA: 12/14/20)

TV NEWS AND SVOD CONTRIBUTE TO SPORTS DECLINES

During a period of political and social unrest, Nielsen says, the growth in TV news, along with SVOD consumption, have contributed to an overall sports TV viewing decline. The decline in fall TV sports viewership due to the pandemic revealed a major drop in “medium and light sports” viewers. According to Nielsen, September and October saw a 19% viewership decline among non-heavy viewers; down to 67 billion “gross sports minutes”. Overall heavy sports viewers sank 8% to 246 million minutes. (MediaPost: 12/10/20). In another article on the same subject (MediaPost: 12/10/20), research among younger sports viewership shows that sports leagues, in general, need to adapt to Gen Z media habits in order to attract new fans.

VIEWERSHIP TRENDS

A report from Vizio’s inscape revealed how “the fall of 2020 has been unlike any programming period we’ve seen before” with all the major sports teams competing at once, while the election kept people focused on the news. The analysis looked at a half-dozen popular broadcast series (The Bachelorette, The Voice, The Goldbergs, The Conners, black-ish and American Housewife) to uncover what else their viewers are watching. In addition to some crossover, top shows watched by their viewers include a mix throughout the day, including daytime dramas (General Hospital, Days of Our Lives), late night (Tonight Show, Late Night Jimmy Kimmel Live), game shows (Millionaire, Family Feud, The Wall), sitcoms (The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Mom, The Simpsons) and dramas (Castle, Empire, The Resident).

According to a new study by NPD Group, consumers are embracing their options by increasing the number of streaming services they watch. NPD found the average consumer uses 7 SVODs and free streaming services, up from 5 streaming services in April. The main reason for the switch to SVOD? According to 39% of them, they’re seeking content that interests them. Free streaming services are becoming more popular as well, growing from 39% to 41%. However free services experience lower engagement rates. (TVTECH: 12/14/20)

SUPPORTING LOCAL

WISHTV in Indianapolis and other local news stations encourage people to shop local in support of their communities. Last minute gifts include hand-delivered arrangements, multi-outlet gift cards (with an opportunity to donate), and healthy DIY suggestions. Newscasters at ABC50 in Watertown, NY join in the gift giving spirit by recommending local writers, local destinations, and other crafts. (InformNNY: 12/16/20)

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