TV advertising spend is set to decrease by 11.7% in 2020 in the US and 14.7% in the UK, respectively, as forecasted by MoffettNathanson Research and GroupM (WPP’s media buying branch), as the pandemic takes its toll on traditional media. Estimates show that pre-Covid levels of spending won’t bounce back until at least 2024, and traditional media will be hit much harder than OTT and other digital media.

For example, one of the UK’s leading broadcasters, Channel 4 has warned the TV ad market was down “in excess of 50%” in April and May 2020 and outlined a raft of cuts, including slashing its content budget by £150m ($200m) and furloughing 10% of staff, as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

Digital content consumption is still growing

In a report this year, AppAnnie, a mobile analytics firm, forecast consumers will spend 674 billion hours in the Entertainment and Video categories worldwide on Android phones alone. This is a major increase from 558 billion hours in 2019. No surprise there. And of course, bigger players like YouTube and Netflix accounted for most of the time spent consuming digital content.

Youtube Ad Revenue
Source: Hootsuite YouTube Stats report

With increased consumption comes the opportunity for more high-quality content to be created and distributed. As the pandemic is a global issue, larger numbers of people worldwide are dedicating more time to video and digital content, so expanding your channel or brands reach can yield dividends.

Also, due to this increase in consumption, digital ad spend is still growing year on year. Worldwide digital ad spending is forecast to reach 2.4% growth - almost 5% lower than pre-pandemic figures, but under current circumstances, we’ll take that.

World-wide Ad Spending

The rise in digital content consumption is not all Netflix and chill

At Papercup, we’ve seen a 50% increase since the beginning of the pandemic in content creators and digital media companies looking to expand their reach in Educational, Factual, DIY, and How-to video content. This isn’t very surprising when we look at the growth in searches on YouTube for self and home improvement topics, where there was an increase in April that is slowly normalizing but is still above pre-pandemic levels.

Google Trends

With the need to be more self-reliant during this time, DIYers and home-beauty enthusiasts tend to lean on video content as their first port of call. Now throw in partners and friends giving each other haircuts, people dusting off their slow-cookers as a lot of restaurants aren’t opening up any soon, and getting back to live events being out of the question; for now, we have a lot more time on our hands to try things we’ve been putting off for ages.

This is not a short-term trend

As we increase our screen time and look at replacing some of our pre-pandemic comforts or just simply keeping ourselves productive and busy, there’s an opportunity for existing professional content creators to increasing their reach. They can do this by making their content available more globally. After all, this is a global trend.

For digital media companies and content creators who are already creating content in these areas, now is the time to think globally to gain exponential growth. And those Digital Media companies that are not already in this space, this is not just a short-term trend. Now is the time to diversify to help bring in more revenue from advertising dollars that would have otherwise be spent on TV. Those brands haven’t just slashed their advertising budget but simply reallocated it to digital, as we can see with the steady growth in digital ad spend.

Last 30 day trend

Some digital media companies like Jungle Creations already have a raft of brands dedicated to DIY and Cooking niches that see growth in their English language content. This is a 30-day snapshot of views for the Craft Factory channel on YouTube.

DIY Creators Latino

Creators who have already started to take their existing content global through translation and localization are now reaping the benefits. This is a snapshot of the Spanish-speaking channel of DIY Creators launched just under 2 years ago, which is currently seeing exponential growth and generating a passive income from their existing content.

The demand is there, and as long as you can produce compelling content that is now more tailor-made for a global audience, then you’re on the road to getting a slice of the growing digital advertising pie.