We all know that news and video publishers are experiencing a big traffic spike during the coronavirus pandemic.

But how can they best serve audiences in order to hold on to new users after the lockdowns end?

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Nielsen’s EVP for media and marketing effectiveness Tina Wilson says traffic is booming – but publishers need to think hard about what to do with it.

“We had estimates of close to 12 hours a day that consumers were connecting with media and that continues to increase,” Wilson says. “Right now where we’re seeing the biggest increase is in streaming.

“We’re able to look at the last week of March relative to the first week of March, and it’s up almost three hours per person per week.”

Holding on

When it comes to their strategy, news and video publishers are faced with interesting choices, because users fall into different camps.

Much of the new news traffic is going to coronavirus stories, as consumers show a voracious appetite for virus content

But, for many consumers, the whole episode is also an anxiety-inducer, pushing them to seek out content on different topics.

Parsely data shows coronavirus-focused users are engaging with content for longer.

But Taboola published data it says shows news website traffic “returning to normal”.

So, what should publishers do?

Choice & connection

Nielsen’s Wilson says it is about “ensuring that there is the content (available), that there is this selection and the choice that draws people in from an originals and from an exclusive standpoint”.

“Really understanding the role that the content plays not just for educating, or informing, or providing an escape, but also that it’s providing a social connection right now (is important),” she says.

“I think (that) is really, really important and one for them to look, to sustain past this time that we’re in today.”

Wilson says Nielsen wants advertisers to move beyond demographic ad targeting, toward understanding audiences and measuring outcomes. Finding the right content is key, she says.

This video is part of a Beet.TV series titled “Audience, in Context,” presented by Xandr. For more videos please visit this page.