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Covid-19 and its impact on the media consumption trend

4 minute read | March 2020
  • TV viewership for news program is going up 25%
  • The viewership on Kids audience reaches the highest rating at 16.2 percent
  • Vitamin and Supplement products contribute more than IDR20 Billion of total digital ad spending

Jakarta, 23 March 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic has caused change in consumer behavior, including in terms of media consumption.  When President Joko Widodo announced the first case of COVID-19 on March 2, no significant change was seen in the media consumption pattern. News became more intense, people began to closely monitor every developments related to COVID-19 through various media channels including TV. As a result,  Nielsen Television Audience Measurement (TAM) in 11 cities showed an increase in TV viewership over the past week, from an average TV rating of 12 percent on March 11 to 13.8 percent on March 18 or equals to an increase of about 1 Million TV viewers.

TV viewing duration also showed a surge of more than 40 minutes, from an average of 4 hours 48 minutes on March 11 to 5 hours 29 minutes on March 18. Viewers from the Upper Class showed a tendency to stay longer in front of TV since March 14 and the number continued to increase. It was shown by  and increase from the average rating of 11.2 percent on March 11 to 13.7 percent on March 18.

The rise of COVID-19 related news on TV stations during the period of 1-18 March contributed to the increase of viewership for News programs.  The viewership towards news programs increased significantly (+25%), mainly among Upper Class viewers. Viewing increase was also seen in Kid’s programs and Series.

The implementation of stay at home policy to prevent the spread of  COVID-19 since mid of March also impacted the TV viewership. Kid segment (aged 5-9 years old) viewership increased significantly, from an average rating of 12 percent to 15.8 percent on 18 March.  In Jakarta, this young viewer segment even reached the highest rating at 16.2 percent.

The COVID-19 pandemic also has caused health and hygiene issues to be of high concern. Nielsen Advertising Intelligence (Ad Intel) report showed that, throughout the month of March, TV advertisements showed a significant frequency increase for several products, i.e. disease prevention products such as vitamins and supplements, and that of disease treatment such as cough medicine.

“In line with the increase of COVID-19 cases, health issues are becoming the major concern of the public. This drives industry players especially related to vitamins and medicines to catch the opportunity to increase sales of their product, by increasing advertising spots and budgets both in electronic media such as TV,and digital media. “said Hellen Katherina, Executive Director of Media, Nielsen Indonesia.

In early March the Vitamin category aired 300 ad spots per day, while on March 18 the category aired 601 spots per day with the total ad-spend reaching IDR15.3 Billion per day. Similar thing also happened for the Cough Medicine category that aired less than 50 ad spots at the beginning of March, and increased to 180 spots on March 18 with a total ad spending of IDR5.6 Billion.

Apart from on TV, Vitamin and Supplement categories also increased their ad spending on digital media. Based on Nielsen’s monitoring on the Top 200 local websites, both categories poured a total ad expenditure of more than IDR20 Billion in the second week of March, a significant increase compared to only IDR6 Billion in the second week of February.

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Ad spending information is taken from Ad Intel data that monitors Indonesian advertising activities. In 2018, ad monitoring includes 15 national TV stations, 98 newspapers and 65 magazines and tabloids and 200 websites. Ad spending figures are based on the gross rate card, without calculating discounts, bonuses, promos, package prices, etc.


Nielsen TAM in Indonesia measured viewings of all national television on more than 8,000 people aged 5 years and over in 11 cities in Indonesia (Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Surakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Medan, Palembang, Makassar and Banjarmasin). The measurement results are stated in rating, share and index values.

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Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units. Nielsen Global Media, the arbiter of truth for media markets, provides media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics that create a shared understanding of the industry required for markets to function. Nielsen Global Connect provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


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