The Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on TV and Online-Video Viewers

Findings from the “Survey on the Values of Television in the Time of COVID-19”

Published: October 1, 2021

This article explores the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the television and online-video viewing of the Japanese as well as their underlying attitudes. The NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute conducted a public opinion survey titled “Survey on the Values of Television in the Time of COVID-19” in November 2020. The survey finds that those whose online-videos viewing time increased due to the pandemic (hereinafter “those with increased video-viewing time”) outnumber those whose TV-viewing time increased (hereinafter “those with increased TV-viewing time”), among not only young people but also among people in their 40s. Comparing the attitudes of video viewers and TV viewers, it is shown that many of the “those with increased TV-viewing time” “worried about infection and/or felt a sense of affinity to television while many of the “those with increased video-viewing time” found it troublesome to watch TV programs at set times and/or were skeptical about media reporting.

We also analyzed online-video viewers’ media use more closely according to genres and daily scenes. By genre, a high percentage of online-video users viewed content related to “hobbies and practical interests” only “online.” A web survey, which we conducted to obtain reference data in association with this study, also shows that online-video users viewed a wide variety of content not available on terrestrial TV broadcasts. By daily scene, while mealtime TV viewing increased, online videos were viewed mainly during private time at night time. The above web survey also finds that some respondents viewed online- video clips on TV screens while having dinner, which suggests that traditional television and video viewing style may be transformed to different forms in future.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research

HOTAKA Takayuki / ASODA Etsuko

in Japanese