A new study shows 70% of consumers are concerned about the safety of reading a delivered print magazine, journal, catalog or newspaper, due to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
The study on "Changing Magazine Habits Due to COVID-19," conducted by digital publishing platform BlueToad, also found that 54% of consumers are more likely to consume digital content over print while practicing social distancing.
Some 77% of people are concerned about themselves or their family’s safety when handling mail or other deliveries.
“The results of this survey show the spread of the coronavirus is making consumers nervous when handling mail and other items delivered to them,” stated Paul DeHart, CEO of BlueToad. “While print remains very relevant both now and long term, publishers must acknowledge the fact that consumers are perhaps more than ever leaning on other perceived safer, digital ways to consume content and connect with brands.”
Another BlueToad survey conducted in mid-February revealed 75% of people already read magazines digitally, with 42% saying they read digital magazines once a week to a few times a week.
While many consumers had already moved to reading digital content, "the increase in demand at the moment is a huge opportunity for publishers to leverage digital tools to connect with readers,” added DeHart.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says studies suggest the coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days, depending on conditions, such as type of surface, temperature or humidity.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website reads: “It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, like a packaging container, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
It continues: "In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging."
The CDC recommends people practice frequent hand washing or sanitizing, as well as routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.