Media Consumption During Lockdown: A South African Survey

Posted by Borderless Access on May 4, 2020 12:22:29 PM
Borderless Access


This past month's lockdown has had an interesting impact on how South Africans consume media. Coupled with the millions of South Africans staying home and the need for ongoing information about the coronavirus, South African media expectations have changed. By the end of March 2020, South Africa had a total of 1,353 COVID-19 cases and five deaths. One month on, we enter stage four of the South African lockdown with these numbers soaring to 5,350 cases and 103 deaths.

In partnership with Borderless Access, BMi Research conducted an online survey* to understand how the lockdown impacted media consumption. The survey indicates that the lockdown has changed the content accessibility South Africans expect from their media providers. An overwhelming 96% and 93% claim that access to news and education respectively, are important to them. Media channels that address these needs will receive good viewership over this time. Following news and education, are movies (85%) and TV series (84%), suggesting that many South Africans have time on their hands to be entertained at home, whilst 73% say that access to religious content is important.

RSA media consumpion durinf lockdownMusic content is important to three quarters of the sample, with 64% claiming to actively listen to or stream music online and 62% claiming to actively download music. Conversely the need for live sports (26%) and sport repeats (23%) is low and deemed to be largely unimportant for now.
With 22% citing that they won’t have regular income after the lockdown, one would assume that South Africans might consider cancelling their subscriptions to pay TV and entertainment channels. However, only 4% claim to be considering cancellation currently.

With the lockdown now entering five stages, we may find that citizens reshape their consumption based on the notion that we’re in this for the long haul. For the foreseeable future at least, media channels that provide access to relevant and current news, education and entertainment pose an attractive opportunity for media providers and advertisers.

Borderless Access has used digital marketing techniques to help clients from across industries and markets to carry out a variety of surveys during the lock down when traditional research methods are ineffective. For more information, contact us.

*The survey was conducted on 12-13 April 2020. Of the 509 panel participants, 100% were South African and living in South Africa during the lockdown. At least 39% were in Gauteng, 23% in the Western Cape and 13% in KwaZulu-Natal. A total of 63% were female, 70% were aged 18-44 years old, 35% were black and 50% were white. At least 93% have Internet access at home. The sample was distributed equally across income groups.

This article was originally published on Biz Community by BMi Research

BMi Research is a long-standing full-service research house specialising in qualitative and quantitative research solutions. With multi-sector experience, the BMi Research team understands industrial and manufacturing research, wholesale to retail intelligence and shopper insights. Capable of delivering both tactical and strategic data through sophisticated reporting platforms, clients are able to realise the required return on research investment.

Kevin or 082 450 2979
Jenni-Ruth Coggin: or 076 170 6989
Cindi Collett: or 082 821 4971
Danie Botha: or 083 271 7720

Topics: Africa market research, south africa market research, digital research, digital market research, digital online research, south africa economy, covid-19, lockdown market research

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