The pandemic surrounding the coronavirus has had a profound impact in the UK on both prosperity and public health. However, it’s also had a substantial effect in the digital technology and media sector.

Connected Homes

The session illustrated that smart home devices saw tremendous growth between the last six months of 2017 and the first six months of 2020. During that stretch of time, smart home devices grew to twice the previous market share as they are now in nine and a half million UK homes.

In terms of specifics, more than one in four UK households in the first six months of 2020 now have a smart speaker. That’s in contrast to the first six months of 2018, when there was only one in ten. During that same time, smart security options went from 3% up to 6%. Also, smart lighting went from 4% up to 7%. In the first parts of 2020, the number of homes using smart domestic appliances went up to 6%.

The Lockdown Has Meant A Decrease In Internet Performance

The Internet is crucial to any connected home, and research shows that nearly 90% of UK consumers enjoy a broadband connection at home allowing businesses to continue work in the event video production and digital sector. Also, nearly as many have mobile Internet packages. Two out of three still have landlines, which are necessary for broadband connection with some ISPs.

All in all, more than one and three consumers said that they had been going through buffering issues and that download speeds were not as good as they were before the coronavirus lockdown. Also, one in four said that their connection overall was much worse in general.

Lockdown Subscriptions

The webinar also covered the topic of subscriptions online during the covid-19 pandemic.

These findings showed that three-quarters of respondents did have a video streaming subscription back in April, and more than half of them had pay-tv. Almost half had some kind of audio music streaming service, 15% were registered for an online game service like Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, more than one in ten had a sports channel subscription, and just over 10% had some kind of subscription to news media of different kinds.

By the time July came around, the average number of subscriptions started falling a little bit from the April levels. The big reason for this was the demographic of 18 through 34-year-olds, because those under 35 reduced their total number of subscriptions from an average of 2.45 down to 2.35. This lowered the overall average from 2.2 down to 2.11. Given this, the gaming industry didn’t have entirely bad news, as more than a third said they had bought games back in April and that rose to more than approximately 4 in 10 by July.

More UK Consumers Watched TV, Movies, And News During The Lockdown

The data showed the consumption of media went up across many different formats during the pandemic lockdown. This wasn’t really a shock considering how much time people were spending indoors. The results showed that UK consumers are putting in the effort to remain informed. Back in April, roughly half of consumers reported watching more news, while one in five reported watching more documentaries. Ten per cent reported watching more educational programming and more science TV. Consumer appetite for news went down a lot by July; those reporting watching the news went from 54% down to 41%

On top of less people actually watching the news, there were not as many people trusting it. The number of UK consumers reporting they didn’t trust the news would from 1/3 to almost half during the lockdown. More than 70% agreed with the idea that they had gotten exhausted with all the news programming, and more than half thought it was overly too negative

In regards to entertainment, more than 40% reported watching more films in April, and more than 20% reported watching more drama. Given how the lockdown was depressing the entire mood of the nation, it’s probably understandable that only about 15% of UK consumers reported watching comedy, with less than half of that watching more kids programming. Just a little light entertainment can do quite a bit, though.