Media shifts that will prevail in 2021

2020 was a very unpredictable year for all, including the media industry, and there have been a multitude of industry shifts that are not expected to dissipate in 2021. New research from News Media Canada found that many Canadians turn to newspapers for reliable and trustworthy news on the pandemic; 33% of Canadians have read newspapers more since the start of the pandemic, and 43% expect to continue this once the outbreak is over.

Five media industry experts were asked by CARD Online to explain the reality of what occurred in 2020 and what they expect will occur in the new year, based on what trends have been seen so far.

The first shift that was touched upon is the idea of meaningful media. With a large portion of the population working from home, the need for human connection has been highlighted time and time again. Applying this to the media industry, it has been noted that an added level of empathy and understanding should be articulated when communicating with consumers.

The focus on wellness is another shift that was touched upon, where health was described as “a lens through which we see the world and everything we do.” This will affect media planning and buying in 2021 because context will need to be managed carefully in the delivery of advertisements. “It’s critical to understand if the audience is seeking advice, or a lift in mood, or a moment of self-care – because that understanding will ensure your brand is additive to the experience.”

According to new data from Totum Research collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, 45% of Canadians want to see positive stories highlighted in the news, and 37% want to read about tips on how to stay healthy.

Digital innovation will also be huge in 2021 with the rise in live branded experiences, such as streaming, online concerts, and online sports events. There will be a new meaning to what the word “live” encompasses. Similarly, e-commerce is expected to continue to flourish. Canada saw an over 110% increase YOY in e-commerce in the Spring of 2020. Many companies have begun to invest in their DTC services, and new technology will shape what will come in 2021.

Lastly, overall media consumption, while impacted drastically due to the pandemic, some sectors are expected to return to normalcy. Some sectors impacted include out-of-home, radio, newspapers, and television. Totum Research found that 48% of Canadians are consuming less products and services related to arts, entertainment, and travel since the outbreak of COVID-19. However, 44% will return to consuming these products and services at the same level or above after the risk associated with COVID-19 subsides.

While 2020 has been a whirlwind of a year that has had a major impact on the media sector among other industries, this article by CARD Online had a lot of important insights on what we may be in store for in 2021. To read more of their thoughts on the new year, click here.