Suddenly, movie premieres, concerts, and festivals among many other media events were cancelled, and entertainment venues closed to prevent mass gatherings in public spaces. In the United States, cancellations and postponements were met with varying levels of support. Political affiliations affected opinions on the measures taken, with those hailing from right-leaning political parties saying that they believed the media was paying too much attention to the pandemic.
In spite of differing opinions on media coverage, U.S. consumers were among the world's most engaged news consumers when it came to searching for updates on COVID-19. A global study revealed that almost 40 percent were following news about the coronavirus at least once a day, compared to 35 percent of consumers in Italy and Germany. Accessing news on the virus has been at the forefront of many consumers' minds since COVID-19 hit their country, and in an era where fake news is an ongoing concern, audiences have been cautious about which news sources to trust. Fake news was often encountered via social media, and in Norway a survey revealed that almost 40 percent of those who had seen fake news came across it on social networks.
In countries all over the world, TV, SVoD and news consumption grew as consumers balanced entertaining themselves with keeping up to date. Spanish consumers turned to television and on-demand streaming services to keep themselves occupied during lockdown. Several news sites in Italy saw audience growth of more than 100 percent, and live TV viewing in the United Kingdom jumped by almost 50 percent, and many consumers around the world opted to spend their time on video games and eSports.
The economic implications of the coronavirus will take time to fully manifest themselves. However it is already clear that as events companies and other physical media outlets will endure serious long term losses, streaming services could see an uptick in usage and subscribers in the coming weeks and months. News sites will also continue to see an increase in traffic, but this will level out as life begins to return to relative normality.