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COVID-19 impact on media consumption in France - statistics & facts

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has disrupted the daily lives of billions of people all around the world due to its unpredictability. In France, millions of people had to shape their lives around the several lockdowns and curfews set up by the government. Working from home and social distancing quickly became the norm for many, as French people spent more time than ever indoors.

Part of the anxiety surrounding the pandemic stemmed from the uncertainty and contradictory information that were broadcast to the general population. Internet and social media were the first information sources used by French people to be up-to-date about the coronavirus outbreak, while the subject was also heavily targeted by fake or incomplete news. Even though a majority of consumers tend not to trust news broadcast by media about the pandemic, radio and press consumption rose during confinement.

French viewers also reported watching more movies and TV shows to pass the time, as many outdoor facilities remained closed, hence making outdoor activities mostly impossible, and curfews excluded going out in the evenings. Always a cinephile nation, many French missed going to the cinema, but decided to subscribe to a new video on demand platform. At a time when releasing a movie in a theater is out of the question, some studios decided to broadcast new releases on streaming platforms, such as Netflix or Disney+, instead.

2020 was a very lucrative year for the video game market, which saw its revenues skyrocket. In France, video game revenues exceeded the five-billion-euro mark for the first time, an all-time high. Both the increase in digital and console sales, supported by massive hits such as Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, were the driving forces behind that unprecedented boom.

Even though book sales have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, most French readers stated reading more than before lockdown. However, the different lockdowns and temporary closures of bookstores pushed many readers to turn to online purchasing channels instead of physical ones, which suffered particularly from decreasing consumer numbers. Still, a great majority of French people preferred bookstores to stay open and respect a sanitary protocol in the event of a third lockdown.

While music consumption increased in 2020, the music industry generally recorded revenue losses that same year, most notably in the physical segment, which plummeted in 2020 and failed to reach expected revenues. The cancellation of music festivals and concerts also put the market under severe stress, to the dismay of many concert- and festivalgoers.

In general, the coronavirus outbreak has had a positive influence on media consumption in France, which has grown over the past year. That being said, this renewed interest doesn’t always translate into revenue gain as physical sales recorded heavy losses across markets.

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Coronavirus impact on media consumption in France

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Consumption levels

  • Press
    46%
  • Television shows
    55%
  • Movies
    50%
  • Video games
    54%
  • Books
    42%
  • Music and video clips
    40%

Impact on revenue

User habits

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