Pandemic Made TV Viewing a Family Affair, Study Finds

Kids Watching TV

A new study found that the pandemic has made television a bigger part of family life.

Research conducted for Yahoo and ad agency Publicis found that while people may have been isolated from friends and co-workers, they stuck together and gathered around glowing screens. 

The increased screen time at home created the opportunity for 64% of families to spend more time watching shows together and 49% are planning movie nights as a family.

Also: Future Today Study Highlights Family Co-Viewing on CTV

Families also spend more on TV buying hardware and content. The study found that 46% of family subscribed to new streaming services and 26% upgraded their internet services. Just 12% added new cable packages.

Kids got new gear to watch those services, with 47% getting tablets sooner than they would have had there been no pandemic, according to the survey, 36% getting new cell phones and 25% getting TV sets.

The screens in home also were used for kids to stay in touch with friends. Among the parents of children 12 to 17 years old, 44% said they encouraged kids to use devices to stay connected and 41% said they raised their kids’ screen time allowance. 

Parents reported behavior changes that marketers should be aware of, with 63% saying they’re doing more online shopping, 52% using apps to order takeout food and beverage, and 51% using store services such as pick up or home delivery. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.