The pandemic led us to revisit our predictions for the number of people in the UK engaging with different digital media activities. For some, there were no real changes, but for others, the ramifications for 2021 onward were significant.
How did the pandemic affect our forecasts?
The majority of digital user metrics we track increased in 2020 as UK consumers sheltered at home. In the coming years, this growth will continue for many activities, though not all. Some will see even faster growth.
Which activities will see accelerated user growth?
For podcast listening, particularly via Spotify, the pandemic was the catalyst for accelerated growth beyond our pre-pandemic forecasts.
Which activities will only get a temporary boost?
A significant bump last year in digital and smartphone gamer figures won’t be maintained, with user numbers reverting to our pre-pandemic forecasts by 2024.
Which activities didn’t, and won’t, see any noticeable change?
Activities like digital and mobile video viewership and social network usage, where user penetration is already high, will struggle to add significant numbers of new users.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report compares our pre- and post-pandemic estimates for four categories (and multiple subcategories) of digital media activities in the UK and outlines reasons for differing trends.
KEY STAT: Our podcast listener forecast for 2020 got a substantial pandemic bump. We revised our 2020 forecast upward from 11.4 million users to 13.3 million—a figure we didn’t expect in our pre-pandemic forecast until 2024.
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