Increase in online news and online gaming during coronavirus pandemic

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

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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