GroupM Tracking Study Signals Boon For Out-of-Home Media

In a change that could have profound implications for media planning and buying, more Americans plan to spend more time outside and less time inside with digital and analogue media during 2021 than they did prior to and during the earliest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic. That's one of the findings of the 20th wave of a periodic study of how he pandemic has impacted American consumers conducted by GroupM's Mindshare.

"Those priorities are shifting media activity as it continues dropping as we enter Summer 2021," reads Wave 20 of Mindshare's "Coronavirus: U.S. Insights" tracking study, reflecting the sentiment of U.S. consumers polled May 28 as part of the agency's "Pool" panel of American consumers.

The study finds that 34% of Americans plan to spend more time outside, and 21% plan to spend less time online -- findings that bode well for media consumed out-of-home, especially outdoor, place-based media and radio.



Conversely, the study suggests a potential cliff effect for many media that boomed during the lockdown periods of the pandemic, especially online, and both streaming and linear TV, including so-called "binge-watching."

"Hope is the prevailing feeling for Americans, both about the current state of COVID and for life post-pandemic," the Wave 20 report notes, adding, "While Americans are still concerned about another wave and the economy, as the summer starts optimism is increasing as they expect to return to a sense of normalcy this year. Americans expect to have more freedom whilst going outdoors and not have to wear a mask, go to live events, and traveling."

"Media has been an integral part of Americans' lives during the pandemic, but as more people are vaccinated, Americans plan to spend more time outdoors than living on screens and indoors this summer," it concludes.

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