Public health and prosperity has been massively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK but it also had a huge impact on the other sectors including the technology, digital and media sector, in particular IT businesses such as Cybermo.

Rise of the Smart Home

In this webinar, it was revealed that the adoption of smart devices has grown massively in the period covering 2nd half of 2017 and first half of 2020. In this period, smart home devices have reached 34% households which means 1/3 of all the households in the UK with the numbers coming to 9.5 million.

When it comes to specific devices, almost 27% of households in the UK had a smart speaker in the first half of 2020 whereas this figure was just 10% in the first half of 2018. The smart security solutions have also grown massively in this period from 3% to 6%, and the households with smart lighting has also grown from 4% to 7%. The smart domestic appliances have hit an adoption rate of 6% in the first half of 2020.

Lockdown Has Impacted Internet Performance

A connected home needs the foundation of a strong internet connection. As per our data, 87% of the consumers in UK have a home broadband connection and also, 87% of consumers had a mobile internet connection. Almost 63% of the consumers still maintain a landline which is required for broadband connection for some ISPs.

It was revealed during the webinar that almost 36% of consumers had to deal with buffering issues and they also said that the download speeds were worse as compared to the speed before lockdown. 26% of consumers said that their internet connection was worse during the lockdown, in general.

Growth in Subscription Services

In the webinar, we also discussed the growth of subscription services during the lockdown.

75% of the consumers subscribed to a video streaming platform as of April whereas 53% had subscription to pay-TV. 15% of the consumers subscribe to an online gaming service such as Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus whereas 48% had a paid subscription to a streaming service for music/audio. 12% of the consumers paid for subscription to a sports channel and 11% of the consumers subscribed to a form of news media.

The average number of subscriptions in July was a little down as compared to the April numbers and the responsibility for this lies majorly with the 18 to 34 year old demographic. The demographic under the age of 35 cut their subscriptions as the average number of subscriptions went down to 2.35 from 2.45, and this decrease also contributed to the decline in overall average to 2.11 from 2.20.

However, the gaming industry didn’t feel the effect as 36% of the consumers said that they bought more games in April and the number went up to 39% by July.

Media Consumption during Lockdown

There was a substantial rise in media consumption across various formats during the lockdown which is not that surprising as people have been spending a lot of time indoors lately. The data shared during the webinar showed that consumers like to remain informed as more than half of the consumers accepted watching more news in April (54%) whereas 20% consumers said that they spent more time watching documentaries. 9% of the consumers consumed a lot more educational programming and science TV shows (8%). By July, consumer’s appetite for news had gone down significantly as the share of people who watched more news went down to 41% from a high of 54%.

However, what’s interesting is that fewer people trust the news they watch even though substantially more people watch the news. 46% of consumers in the UK claimed that they do not rely on news and this number was 35% before lockdown. 72% consumers were fed up with news programming boring whereas 55% of the consumers found the news to be too negative.

When it comes to entertainment, almost 37% of the consumers accepted watching more films in the month of April whereas 22% of the consumers watched more drama. Lockdown had a massive impact on the nation’s mood and this might be the reason, 13% of the UK consumers watched a lot more comedy whereas 7% chose to spend more of their time watching kids programming. After all, light entertainment is good for much-needed relief in such dark times.