As we reported in our previous few posts, among the top 984 digital services (which had at least five million monthly users as of January 2020), two-thirds experienced only modest losses or gains in audience reach since the pandemic was officially declared in March.
That said, a few key services have had wild spikes or losses in audience reach during this time.
With our COVID-19 Tracker (which is powered by Smart App, a panel that gathers behavioral data among opted-in users, across all their devices), we calculated the relative increase or decrease among users for each service, between January and March, among a U.S.-based audience. And we found there are some services which gained or lost a huge number of users during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top Audience Increases and Decreases in the U.S. Market
We ranked the services with the biggest gains in monthly unique audience reach, across all personal digital devices (and their sub-sites and apps, all mapped into the main service brand/entity). In the analysis below, we included all those services that have more than doubled their monthly audience.
Big Audience Growth for Zoom, News Portals, and Medical Websites
The key winner in terms of commercial services has been Zoom. It was used by a focused group of professionals before the crisis, but its use has vastly expanded across consumers and communication purposes. The company managed to grow its monthly audience by 386%!
Not surprisingly, a few key governmental formal communication channels and news portals, like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Change.org, and Ny.gov, had significant gains from their normal monthly user numbers, with 597%, 153%, and 107% increase in monthly users, respectively.
Infogram, which powers many of the online visualizations we see and explore around the COVID-19, has seen its monthly user exposure grow 293%. Some key medical sites, specifically Gundry MD, have also had huge gains in monthly audience, with 268% growth.
It’s worth noting this list also reveals services unrelated to the pandemic, nor are they likely to gain or lose audience because of the pandemic. TaxAct, for example, gained users simply because the U.S. tax filing period was active in March.
However, it is clear that most of the services on this list are entertainment and news related. As in our previous analysis, we can continue summarizing that people have now more time to explore entertainment and news on their digital sites, either to pass time or to get critical news and information to navigate the dramatic societal and economic changes related to the pandemic.
We also ranked all these top services in the U.S. (again, more than five million users in January, per category) in terms of how many have lost and how many have gained users.
This analysis reveals that the same services we picked in our previous analysis, are ranking high: news, books, governmental information services, entertainment, and productivity. Overall, in nine categories out of 21 included in this analysis, more services gained user reach. Other categories are not posting encouraging numbers: 68% of all finance apps/sites lost reach, travel lost 70%, and sports lost 84%.
How are consumers in your market using their digital devices to research purchases and shop during the pandemic? Contact email@example.com to see how data from our COVID-19 Tracker can give you actionable insights about your target digital audience.