Increase in online news and online gaming during coronavirus pandemic

Increase in online news and online gaming during coronavirus pandemic
The figures are reported by the Central Statistics Office -CSO- in its study on the 'Impact of Covid-19 on Virtual Life'.

There was an increase in streaming videos, accessing online news and using social networks to keep in touch during the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a notable increase in the numbers playing or downloading games online, too.

The figures are reported by the Central Statistics Office -CSO- in its study on the 'Impact of Covid-19 on Virtual Life'.

The findings include:

  • People using social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, more since lockdown started;
  • A spike in sharing self-created content, like photos, videos and music. Some 38% of internet users said they were doing this in comparison to just 31% in January.
  • Some 70% of internet users were watching content on YouTube or similar sites.
  • Watching on-demand video, including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, also increased. Some 57% of internet users are now doing this.
  • Similar numbers - 55% - are watching catch-up TV broadcasters and streamed TV.
  • Almost one-third of internet users also reported playing or downloading games online.

Maureen Delamere, CSO statistician, said: "Irish life has changed following the introduction in March of the measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic. People were at home a lot more, with schools and many workplaces closed — this had an effect on people’s use of the internet."

Online news consumption is also on the increase, with more than three-quarters of respondents reporting they read or downloaded their news from the internet.

This included a huge number of those aged 16 to 44, with 90% of this group getting their news from online sources. This declines to 69% for 45 to 59-year-olds.

Interestingly, there was a decline in the numbers of over-60s accessing news online, despite the lockdown restrictions and advice to cocoon for over 70s. In March, 64% said they were getting news online, down from 70% earlier in the year.

Unsurprisingly, younger respondents are most likely to spend more time online.

Increase in online news and online gaming during coronavirus pandemic

Almost 90% of 16 - 44-year-olds use social networking sites in comparison to 60% of 45 - 59-year-olds and less than 40% of those aged 60+, while almost half of the youngest internet users are uploading self-generated content, such as pictures or videos, in comparison to less than one-quarter of over 60s.

While the over-60 bracket saw a decline in uploading content or using social media sites since January, there was a big increase for this cohort when it came to watching video on demand or catch up TV.

Just 10% of over 60s said they played or downloaded games online, with 55% of 16 - 44-year-olds doing the same.

A previous survey published by the CSO in May reported a significant increase in internet usage for many tasks.

The number of people buying groceries online had doubled from January to March, while three-quarters of people were seeking health information online and the same number were also using internet phone services, such as Skype and Zoom.

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