Reports Media & Marketing

Attention economy After the lockdown boom

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 foot view:  The pandemic-triggered change in everyday life resulted in a boom in entertainment consumption, which, in turn, saw growth in emerging formats as well as a temporary rebound for traditional formats. As the world starts to ease back into pre-pandemic routines, much of this newly found entertainment time will go – but the declines will not be evenly felt, with the emergence of clear winners and losers in the post-boom attention economy.

Key Insights

  • The lockdown attention boom started to recede in the first half of 2020: total average entertainment time was        hours in        2021, down        from        2020, but still up        from        2020.        of the time gained in lockdown was gone by        2021
  • The biggest lockdown victors were also among the biggest 2021 losers. Audio (radio, podcasts, audiobooks) surged during        2020 (up        but saw half of those gains wiped out within six months, with average hours down to        in        2021
  • Music streaming – a big lockdown winner – fell by        between        2020 and        2021, but as this was below the market average, it increased its share of both audio time and overall entertainment time
  • Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music weekly active users (WAUs) saw the sharpest falls in music streaming hours in        2021, while Deezer and SoundCloud WAUs saw the least. Similar patterns were also seen in audio consumption 
  • Entertainment consumption by        was most impacted by the easing of pandemic restrictions. Being the most likely group to return to pre-pandemic routines, these consumers saw weekly audio hours down by        and video down by       
  • Combined average video hours were        in        2021, down from        2020, but still up from        2021        Social video was the only video category to grow in        2021, up        from        2020 and (with social overall) one of just two categories that grew in        2021
  • Post-pandemic behaviour is triggering a rebalancing of the attention economy, transforming it from an interesting market concept into something that will shape everyday business decisions, resulting in both winners and losers in the coming year

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