What do Burda readers do when the Corona crisis forces them to work at home and leisure activities are severely limited by restrictions on outdoor activities? In addition to tidying, cleaning up and walking, reading, watching television and searching online are currently among the top five occupations. Reading in particular is experiencing a renaissance and seems to be the ‘new old’ super hobby. It ranks first among new leisure activities, according to 70 per cent of those questioned during a survey of the current situation that was carried out among panellists of the ‘Medienpanel by Burda’ in which 1,479 readers and users of Hubert Burda Media products were asked about their current leisure, media usage and consumer behaviour.
More than three-quarters of the respondents obtain more information than usual from the media, with public TV broadcasters being the primary beneficiaries, followed by newspapers and news magazines as well as radio. This suggests that traditional media is of particular importance during the Corona crisis. According to panellists, traditional media enjoy the most trust and confidence, followed by the official websites of institutions such as the Robert Koch Institute (38 per cent) and the news websites of established media brands (36 per cent).
However, traditional entertainment media can also score points here. According to statements made by the study participants, reading also serves to deliberately distract attention away from the crisis in addition to providing a way to obtain information on all the most recent developments. All the same, 59 per cent of respondents said that magazines designed for entertainment are very important to them in the current situation.
These results are also backed up by a recent interim evaluation carried out on behalf of the print categories of the agma (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Media-Analyse: Consortium for Media Analysis) in which 1,815 personal interviews were conducted during the period from 8 March to 30 March. The data obtained in this study also clearly demonstrates theincreased public interest in reliable, high-quality reporting and entertainment in the wake of the Corona pandemic. According to agma, magazines have achieved an overall average growth in reach of 25 per cent during the specified survey period, while monthly titles have been able to increase their reach by 32 per cent, fortnightly magazines have been able to increase their reach by 24 per cent and weekly magazines have been able to increase their reach by 23 per cent – compared to the last surveys conducted from September 2018 to February 2019 and from March 2019 to September 2019.
Even though the general economic outlook is gloomy, Hubert Burda Media users remain confident for the time being, which is reflected in their data on consumer behaviour. Larger purchases such as furniture, TV sets or even luxury clothing are still being made. Only 24 per cent of the respondents want to postpone larger purchases by a few weeks and just under a third want to do so indefinitely. In addition to the current work or financial situation of the respondents, the main reasons for investments being postponed are simply the lockdowns, closed shops or deliveries and services that are not currently possible.
The current stay-at-home situation has even provided the incentive to spontaneously purchase furniture, kitchen and household appliances as well as cars. In addition, tablets, computers and smartphones as well as game consoles and play equipment have been purchased, in particular, for keeping people occupied at home and for equipping home offices.
At the moment, there is also an extraordinary run on everyday items such as food, household goods and hygiene products. People are stockpiling and even buying more than they need for their everyday use. The main beneficiaries are stationary traders, while the intensity of online shopping has not changed much. People continue to leave the house to do their everyday shopping. In total, only 55 per cent of respondents said that they feared being infected with the Coronavirus. The greatest concern is the health of family and friends. Confidence in the political measures being taken and in the health system is also likely to play a part in this. The majority of the panellists (over 70 per cent) considered the measures to be sufficient and thought that the health system was in a good position to cope with the situation.
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