As part of our Media the Way It Should Be® mantra, Media Bridge is keeping a close watch on Americans’ changing media habits during the pandemic. As we see new data from various media and research organizations, we’ll synthesize it here to help you make smart, informed media-buying decisions.

Broadcast & Local TV 

Additional evidence has come in showing that more Americans are watching prime time TV. Nielsen’s latest measurements show a growth in prime time viewing from 47.5% of homes in early March to 52.9% in late March. 

There’s also more proof of the growth in local TV news viewership. According to TVB’s “Broadcast TV Viewership During Coronavirus” study, local TV news has seen a surge in younger viewers (18-34). Millennials’ live viewing of local news airing Monday to Friday during the first week of March increased 52% compared to the same week in 2019, while the second week of March was up 83% YOY. 

When TVB asked 18+ adults throughout the country which media sources they trusted most for news, local broadcast news topped the list at 83%, with radio coming in at 74%

The TVB study also looked at media trust levels among millennials 18-34 and found that: 

  • 71% of millennials trust TV broadcasts. 
  • 61% of millennials trust network broadcast news.
  • 53% of millennials trust cable news channels. 
  • 61% of millennials identify local TV news as their most trusted digital source.

Streaming/Connected TV/OTT 

Here’s a stat that bodes well for the future of OTT/Connected TV advertising: According to an April 2020 report from Integral Ad Science,
90% of consumers now have access to a connected TV (a TV connected to the internet directly or through devices like Apple TV, Roku and ChromeCast). 


In addition, the study found higher adoption of free, ad-supported streaming services compared to paid streaming services.
85% of consumers now have access to at least one paid streaming service, with Netflix being the most popular. 44% of consumers, especially younger consumers, have recently added a free streaming service such as Tubi, Crackle or Vudu since the start of the pandemic. 

By asking people which device they use to watch streaming media, the study also found an across the-board increase in overall streaming usage from February to March. Connected TV is the most popular way to view streaming video, especially among people 18-29. 


A Nielsen survey found that AM/FM radio retained 96% of its typical reach levels (from Feb. to March 2020) despite car listening seeing a drop during lockdowns. The strongest retention was middays, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

In an interesting but not unexpected finding, radio listening remains done largely out of home, but the at-home share has grown quickly, from 26% to 38% in under three months. 

And while the popularity of most radio formats has remained remarkably resilient, the news/talk format is seeing a boost in traffic. 

Digital/Social Media 

The growth of TikTok continues unabated (it has now been downloaded almost 2 billion times), but here’s a different kind of story: TikTok recently kicked off its Creative Learning Fund (which our Giselle Ugarte is a part of) and will be investing over $50 million in ad grants to educators, professional experts and nonprofits whose real-world skills can help spread educational information in an accessible, distance-learning format. Way to Do the Right Thing, TikTok! 

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Look for additional updates as more information becomes available. Media Bridge will always do our best to deliver More Bang for Your Media Buck!

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