MediAvataar's News Desk
YouGov looks at attitudes and behaviour across 25 markets
With the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to dominate daily life across the globe, YouGov has been conducting a tracker study in 25 countries and regions looking at potential impact on everything from business, politics and everyday behaviour.
Every week YouGov will be providing a round-up of the most noteworthy changes in the data over the previous seven days. This first edition looks back over all the results we have gathered so far, stretching as far back as late February in some parts of the world.
Fear of catching COVID-19
For those most part those living in Asia and the Middle East are far more fearful of catching the disease – generally between 53% and 83% – than people in Europe and North America – generally between 27% and 45%.
Italy is a notable exception in Europe. The most recent survey there found almost three quarters of Italians either very or somewhat scared of contradicting the virus – unsurprising given a significant portion of the country is on lockdown.
It is also worth noting that results in the APAC nations have remained static or only risen relatively slowly since the first waves of the survey were conducted in late February. Concerns in those countries in Europe where two or more waves have been conducted show fear rising faster – for instance, the UK saw an increase from 24% to 48% between 1 and 20 March, and fear in Germany has risen from 21% to 37% between 4 and 16 March.
How COVID-19 has changed behaviour
The results also show that COVID-19 has had a greater impact on behaviour in Asia and the Middle East so far than it has in Europe and America.
The most visible difference comes down to face mask usage.
In almost all European countries, and the US and Canada, face mask usage is below 10%. In most Asian markets, however, it is around half or more, and rises as high as 80-86% in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Middle Eastern usage is slightly below the Asian range, at 35-39%.
Italy and Singapore prove outliers for their respective regions. Only 21% of Singaporeans say they are wearing face masks in public places – a figure that has remained consistent since the first survey there in late February.
Italians, on the other hand, are much more likely than their neighbours to wear face masks, with 59% saying they do so.
When it comes to avoiding tourists, again Asians and Middle Easterners (46-63%) tend to be ahead of the curve compared to their European and American peers (12-39%). This could of course be because there is a greater imperative to do so in Asia, where caseloads are highest and tourists are most likely to be from neighbouring countries.
Singapore once again stands out from the rest of the region, with only 34% saying they are avoiding physical contact with tourists.
The most common behavioural change just about everywhere is improved hygiene. The vast majority of people in Asian countries say they are now more fastidious in their cleanliness, with rates generally between 78-88% (although India is slightly lower on 69%).
Figures in the rest of the world are slightly more mixed, but still relatively high. In some countries like Italy, Norway and the UAE, as many people are boosting their sanitary efforts as are doing so in Asian countries.
Other countries like the US, France, Germany and Sweden are lagging, with 59-64% saying they are taking extra hygiene precautions. Some of these figures do represent big improvements, however: the US figures are up from 42% from the beginning of the month. Over the same time period, however, Germany’s has only gone from 60% to 63%.
The tracker also highlights the immense Asian shift in avoiding public places that took place between late February and early March. Six Asian markets – Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand – saw a 16 to 34 percentage point increase in the proportion of people avoiding crowds.
Attitudes in Indonesia are significantly different to the rest of its regional neighbours. At the time other Asian countries were seeing large numbers choosing to avoid crowded places, figures in Indonesia barely shifted from 26% to 31%. They have since risen to 51%, but this still puts them far behind their neighbours.
Measures supported to combat COVID-19
Distinctions between global regions are less obvious when it comes to support for measures national governments could take to combat the spread of the disease.
Generally speaking the most popular measures are to quarantine anyone who has come into contact with a contaminated patient, alongside banning and quarantining flights from China and other countries with COVID-19 cases.
Public opinion in Germany in particular has registered the most notable swing in favour of banning flights from the rest of the world. While only 29% of Germans supports banning flights from countries with COVID-19 cases at the beginning of March, this figure has since risen to 50%. Over the same time period, the number of Germans wanting to ban flights from China specifically has risen from 41% to 53%.
YouGov COVID-19 measures supported tracker: Stopping all inbound international flights from countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus
Malaysians too have become far more likely to want to block flights from other countries with COVID-19. On 24 Feb 47% of Malaysians wanted to ban flights from such countries; by 16 March that figure had risen 24 percentage points to 71%. Whilst there has not been such an extreme rise when it comes to flights from China specifically, that is only because Malaysians have consistently been the most likely to want to block such flights: 64% wanted to do so in late February, and 70% want to do so now.
YouGov COVID-19 measures supported tracker: Stopping all flights coming into country from mainland China
Another noteworthy nation is Singapore, in which public opinion is becoming less supportive of many of these measures. Over the space of one week the proportion of Singaporeans wishing to see flights from China banned fell from 52% on 6 March to 40% on 13 March. Over the same time period support for blocking flights from all countries with coronavirus cases fell from 46% to 38%.
Support in Singapore for quarantining Chinese travellers has also fallen from 39% in late February to 23% now. Support for quarantining anyone who has come into contact with a contaminated patient has also fallen from a peak of 73% at the very end of February to 62% now.
Support in Singapore for tough measures to tackle COVID-19 is now starting to fall
Such shifts could be a result of the belief that Singapore has handled the crisis well, and the situation is being competently managed. However, case numbers have continued to rise since the last survey was conducted – next week’s edition of the tracker will reveal whether these figures represent a trend or get reversed.
The trackers show a huge shift in public desire in Asian markets for their respective governments to distribute free face masks. The shift took place between late February and early March – the same time people in these areas were also starting in large numbers to avoid crowded public places.
Figures rose by at least 24 percentage points in each market, with the increase particularly rapid in Malaysia (from 7% to 57%) and the Philippines (8% to 54%).
Being a socially responsible radio network and looking at the gravity of the situation we, at MY FM, have decided to go live all day from home. Our RJs will be live through the day from home for all our listeners across 30 cities. There will be song requests, games, interviews, updates, contests and a lot of action all day long.
At 5pm we will playout "Samaan ka Siren - Special Mashup Song". We will leave no stone unturned to keep our listeners entertained, updated and refreshed while they stay at home.
So join us this Sunday, stay safe, stay indoors and do remember " Bina Mile.. Sath Ladein".
Virgin Media has secured a deal with NBCUniversal, which, for the first time, will allow its customers to watch some of the studio’s new releases on the same day they hit cinemas.
Soon, Virgin Media customers will be able to watch DreamWorks Animation’s newest film Trolls World Tour, the sequel to the blockbuster hit Trolls, on Monday 6 April – the same day as its UK cinema release.
NBCUniversal titles that are currently in theatrical release will also be available on-demand on Virgin Media Store from Friday 20 March. This includes recent films from Universal Pictures and its speciality label Focus Features such as The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma.
Given the rapidly evolving and unique circumstances that have currently made it difficult to view films in theatres, NBCUniversal has partnered with Virgin Media in an agreement that would allow its customers to rent some of NBCUniversal’s new movies as soon as they are available in cinemas.
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said:
“In these challenging times, its great news for our customers that they won’t be missing out on the latest cinema releases. At a click of a button, friends and families can sit back, relax and enjoy the latest blockbusters from the comfort of their sofa.”
Virgin Media is also helping its customers stay connected to the people and things that matter most right now.
From Monday 23rd March, over 2.7 million Pay Monthly customers will be given unlimited minutes to landlines and other mobile numbers, plus a 10GB data boost, at no extra cost, for a month.
Other extended extras will be coming in the near future.
The Covid-19 crisis is devastating for many industries, including the creative community. Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally - leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs. These include electricians, carpenters, drivers, hair and makeup artists and more, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis.
This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide. So we’ve created a $100 million fund to help with hardship in the creative community.
Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world. We’re in the process of working out exactly what this means, production by production. This is in addition to the two weeks pay we’ve already committed to the crew and cast on productions we were forced to suspend last week.
Beyond helping workers on our own productions, we also want to support the broader film and television industry. So $15 million of the fund will go to third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a large production base.
In the United States and Canada non-profits already exist to do this work. We will be donating $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Disaster Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund and the Actors Fund Emergency Assistance in the US, and $1 million between the AFC and Fondation des Artistes. In other regions, including Europe, Latin America and Asia where we have a big production presence, we are working with existing industry organizations to create similar creative community emergency relief efforts. We will announce the details of donations to groups in other countries next week.
What’s happening is unprecedented. We are only as strong as the people we work with and Netflix is fortunate to be able to help those hardest hit in our industry through this challenging time.
The arrival of the coronavirus COVID-19 is likely to have complex effects on the media market. Quarantine measures have had an immediate effect on box office ticket sales in a number of markets worldwide, and consumers in quarantine zones have shown early signs of increased media consumption behaviour. However, the longer-term impacts of the outbreak on entertainment companies will be related to the scale of overall economic damage which results from the pandemic. Institutions such as the UN and IMF have already warned of the potential of a global downturn.
At this stage, the likely scale of the impact is still uncertain. However, the World Bank modelled out a series of scenarios in 2013 based on past outbreaks including the 1918 Spanish Flu, 1968 Hong Kong Flu, 2003 SARS and others, indicating negative impacts on global GDP ranging from between -0.5% and -5% below normal growth levels.
Based on the effects seen following the financial crisis, Ampere is modelling out the likely impact on global TV and advertising sectors under a selection of scenarios within this range. Under a scenario of GDP growth of just one percentage point below current projections, we would expect to see mild negative impacts on the advertising market as some media buyers delay or cut spending, with net growth in global TV revenue flat as a consequence (compared to marginal growth in current projections). Broadcasting groups such as ITV in the UK have already indicated cut-backs in advertising spend, but under mild negative economic impacts, much of this spend would return.
However, in cases of global growth slowing further, the global TV advertising market will tip into decline as increasing numbers of advertisers seek to manage costs. Other sectors will see different effects. The online advertising market, as a higher growth segment, will slow, but is likely to remain in growth under all but the most severe scenarios. The scale of decline in the global pay TV market would be accentuated under all scenarios, as consumers accelerate cord-cutting of expensive cable TV and satellite TV contracts, in favour of lower cost subscription OTT products; however, much of this effect is likely to be felt one to two years after the initial economic shock, based on analysis of prior recessionary periods, with contract periods, bundling and inertia offering pay TV operators some degree of protection from immediate economic impact. While these sectors are likely to see a negative impact, other forms of in-home entertainment have the potential to capitalise on the resulting changing economics and behavioural patterns.
Ampere will be publishing a more comprehensive report outlining its findings in the coming days.