In 2020 as the world changed, so too did people’s entertainment habits.
With daily routines and habits disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a shift not only in people’s behaviors around entertainment consumption but the emotional need states that it fulfilled.
For many individuals, gaming was a way to fulfill these emotional needs. While engagement with video games increased during 2020, gaming itself is far from a new phenomenon. For most people, this increased engagement with video games signified a return to gaming, or an opportunity to reconnect with a pastime they had previously enjoyed but lacked the time to spend with it.
This report explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entertainment consumption, including engagement with gaming. This research aims to better understand what these behaviors and emotional connections will mean long-term for audiences and brands alike, providing insight into entertainment and gaming usage in a post-pandemic world.
Following a 10-month COVID-19 tracker by Omnicom MediaGroup (OMG) Primary Research, Activision Blizzard Media and OMG partnered with MFour Mobile Research to conduct a four-part diary study in the United States among Adults 18+, November - December 2020.
The diary study (n=407) was conducted for seven days alongside a pre & post-survey measuring the following: the typical week of a multi-media consumer; the adoption and revisitation of multi-media platforms due to the pandemic; the role of media in consumers’ lives during COVID and motivations behind digital entertainment choices; how platforms like gaming (playing and watching) served as a safe place for brands and consumers alike, and opportunities for interactive platforms in the future.
This research concluded with virtual focus groups (n=15).
The short version, the more media buyers learn about the gaming audience and their entertainment consumption habits, the more essential gamers become to media spending ROI. The long version, it’s complicated.