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The Content That Captivates: How COVID-19 is Changing our Reading Habits


What if you had a tool that allowed you to tap into the most captivating content that is drawing users in and commanding the greatest attention? And what if that tool could show you snapshots of how internet user’s interests are evolving over time, in say, a global pandemic?

At Teads we’ve built that tool. We call it the Teads Media Barometer; a powerful interface that allows us to understand, moment by moment, what the global internet population is most focused on by analyzing the content of in-depth editorial articles consumers are reading across a huge range of topics.

As we join the world in navigating the COVID-19 crisis, our insights team used the Teads Media Barometer to understand how the global pandemic and containment measures are changing the topics that users are choosing to spend the most time reading on their devices.

In an ongoing series of studies, we’re looking at the evolving consumption trends of the internet’s 1.5 billion most voracious readers, and early results are in.

Of course some changes may not come as much of a surprise. COVID-19 has driven a strong increase in users’ interest in health content. People stuck at home need to both eat and find something relaxing to do, so, gourmet cooking content is all the rage seeing a 20% increase in just 30 days.

But did you know that US consumers have suddenly developed a growing taste for Video Game reviews? The gaming category saw a whopping 60% increase in readership that we only expect to grow further as more people seek new forms of participatory entertainment.

To see the results by market, have a look at these handy info-graphics. We even mapped the different topics onto a hierarchy of needs and, it looks like we’re all doing a little soul searching right now, because “Self-Actualization” content saw some of the highest growth of any need category.

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Stay tuned for more analysis as the situation unfolds!

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