Evolving attitudes and media consumption under lockdown

Beyond staying at home, two key ways in which you would expect our consumer behaviour in Britain to have changed in the past couple of months include our approach to finances amidst the huge economic uncertainty and new media habits as we spend far more time cooped up indoors.

Thanks to data from our Premier TGI Clickstream* survey into the behaviour of upmarket adults in Britain, we can see how the behaviour of these consumers has changed – in some cases dramatically – in the first few weeks of lockdown.

More mindful of money

With it becoming clear early on in the pandemic that economies would be hit hard, we saw a significant change in upmarket consumer attitudes towards their money.

The proportion who agree ‘I spend money more carefully than I used to rose from 56% to 59%. Confidence in managing money effectively also increased, with 71% of upmarket adults agreeing ‘I am very good at managing money’, up from 66% before lockdown.

Of particular significance has been a rise in agreement with ‘The economic outlook heavily affects my purchasing behaviour’ – up from 34% to 43%, with significant rises echoed across age groups and by gender.

Similarly, the proportion of upmarket adults who agree ‘It is important to be well insured’ has risen from 60% before lockdown to 70% during quarantine, no doubt in part driven by seeing numerous retailers and travel firms issue warnings or collapse under the restrictions.

Shift towards Video On Demand and social media video viewing

Perhaps inevitably given we were suddenly all spending more time in our own homes, lockdown saw a considerable spike in the proportion of upmarket adults who claim to watch Video on Demand, rising from 67% before lockdown to 76% during.

This is reflected in individual VOD platforms. Those who say they have watched Amazon Prime ‘in the last 7 days’ rose from 8% to 15% and Netflix from 12% to 21%.

Similarly, the proportion of upmarket consumers who claim to watch videos on social media jumped once lockdown started. For Facebook from 30% to 40%, on Instagram from 14% to 22% and on YouTube from 46% to 55%.

Turning to news and banking online also saw spikes

Unable to go out as much, these upmarket adults have been turning to their mobiles to undertake tasks they might previously have done in-person. For example the proportion undertaking personal banking by mobile rose from 29% before lockdown to 37% after it started. Indeed the proportion claiming to use the internet for banking or personal finance grew from 63% to 70%.

A craving for news on the latest about the pandemic prompted more upmarket consumers to turn to their phones for any new information. For example, the proportion accessing the Sky News app rose from 5% to 7% and its BBC equivalent from 19% to 29%. But it isn’t just apps driving the desire for news. The proportion claiming to visit newspaper websites went up from 34% to 43%.


*Our annual Premier TGI Clickstream survey is conducted on a representative annual sample of upmarket opinion-leading, high spending British adults (aged 20+) – those who are in the top (A or B) social grades or who have a household income or savings of at least £50,000. This equates to a universe of 17.65 million adults in Britain. Here we compare data from fieldwork conducted in the period before lockdown (Jan-Dec 2019) with data collected as lockdown came in and got underway (20th March – 3rd April). Sample for lockdown period: 1,520. Sample for pre-lockdown period: 6,511. Data collection is conducted online and includes metered online behaviour.

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