UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 10 December, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 10 December, 2020
10th December 2020 Zac van Manen

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 10 December, 2020

Accurate as of: 8 December 2020

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 4pm on 08 December 2020, a total of 43,279,583 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 1,750,241 were confirmed positive.
  • 62,033 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • As of 2 December, England has come out of national lockdown and has returned to a regional, tiered lockdown approach, based on the latest data.
  • Guidance for the current tiered approach in England can be found here.

UK travel restrictions:

Visit for all official information.

  • The tiered lockdown approach means that international travel is permitted on a country by country basis, depending on whether there is an open travel corridor.
  • As of 2 December, mandatory quarantine upon returning to the UK following travel has been reduced to 5 days, upon receipt of a negative test on day 5.
  • In Tier 3, accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.

Latest updates:

  • Margaret Keenan, a UK grandmother who turns 91 next week, has become the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab as part of a mass vaccination programme. (BBC)
  • Cyprus is to waive Covid testing requirements for visitors who have been vaccinated against the virus, according to a Government plan that will come into effect in March 2021.This would make it the first destination to specify that vaccinated travellers will not need to meet other Covid-related entry rules, such as a negative test result or quarantine. (Telegraph)
  • Switzerland continues to come under pressure to close its ski resorts over the festive season in order to avoid “unfair competition”. The European Union has said it is hoping to reach a deal with the country in order to create a level playing field. Alpine neighbours France, Italy, Germany and Austria have all been forced to close their slopes for much of the holiday season amid the pandemic. (Independent)
  • More than half of Britons (54%) think that only people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 should be able to board a plane when a vaccine is freely available, according to new research by Sky News. Meanwhile, 29% said it would be unacceptable and 17% said they were not sure. The poll included more than 1,700 people. (Telegraph)
  • Spain’s latest tourist scheme hopes to welcome Brits back by next March with no travel restrictions or quarantines (The Sun)
  • Manchester Airport Group Investments Limited – parent to Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports – has seen revenues drop 81%, as it released its financial results for the six months to 30 September. (TTG)
  • A survey of more than 2,000 adults, commissioned by Skyscanner, revealed that more than half (56%) found it difficult to understand the current travel options open to them, with 77% of these people saying they were put off from travelling by this confusion. (TTG)
  • Brits are ‘more willing’ to travel overseas, as vaccines prompt a bookings spike. According to data firm, Adara, the UK leads Europe in willingness to travel internationally (Travel Weekly)
  • Governments should buy airline tickets and give them away to stimulate the return of travel, Iata has recommended. Giveaways could be among a range of incentives, citing the example of Hong Kong Airport Authority, which bought 500,000 seats for a Lucky Draw for locals and international passengers. (TTG)
  • The travel industry is unlikely to “hit the ground running” at the launch of the ‘test to release’ scheme for arrivals in England from December 15. The government delay in publishing a list of approved test providers means some preparations are on hold and costs still remain unclear. (Travel Weekly)

Social media:

  • The US’ Federal Trade Commission has announced an antitrust against Facebook, alleging the social network is an illegal monopoly that made use of anticompetitive behaviour to purchase what could have been competition — specifically Instagram and WhatsApp. It’s a bit reflective of the Standard Oil/U.S. Steel situation at the beginning of the 20th century so stay tuned. Don’t forget that the break up of Standard Oil made Rockefeller the richest person in modern history and that some of its successors remain among the world’s largest companies.
  • After much ado about nothing, TikTok remains available in the United States after it passed the latest date from which it ‘must have been sold’. According to the New York Times, the deadline hasn’t been extended again but the White House no longer cares. What fun.
  • In Facebook’s ever-expanding ecommerce play, WhatsApp has added a Carts feature. Carts mean that WhatsApp is now a fully-fledged shopfront for online businesses, allowing customers to browse for items and send their full cart on to the business as a message for fulfilment. Reminder: invest in ecommerce for 2021 if you haven’t already.
  • After reporting daily active users for the first time last week, Reddit remains pretty open as they’re now publishing their annual year in review. Click through that link if you’re keen to see more about top trends, some reflections on new communities like /r/coronavirus, and even a first UK-specific year in review. Spoilers: the most upvoted post for the year was Rick Astley-related but also not a rickroll. Like an inverted rickroll, if you will.
  • On the back of Snapchat’s Creator Fund investment announcement last week, Snap Inc. is also fuelling $3.5 million into an augmented reality (AR) creator fund. Snapchat’s been pretty proactive with AR basically since inception, so it’s not really a surprise to see them double down. But it is nice to see some money for creators involved. Check out their Spectacles if you haven’t already.
  • As with the rest of the entertainment industry this year, with everyone across the globe locked down at home, gaming’s had a killer year. Five of the top ten channels on YouTube in 2020 were gaming channels and, this week, YouTube’s revealed that 100 billion hours were spent watching videos on YouTube Gaming. That’s not even time spent playing games — just watching other people play them! I mean, televised sport has been around for as long as televisions have (and on the radio before that too) but, with an Internet connection, a computer, and probably a mouse of their own, it’s interesting to note how many people are just as keen to watch games online as they are to play them.
  • To boost engagement and drive the platform’s famous FOMO feeling, Instagram’s testing adding countdown timers to Stories. These timers display the time left on Stories before they expire and appear under the Story icon at the top of your Feed. As you’ll have worked out from using Stories, the order of the Stories that you’re presented is not chronological. Surprise surprise.
  • Instagram’s also allowing up to three guests in livestreams in India, as the platform continues to slide nicely into the TikTok-shaped hole left in the digital zeitgeist after that app’s ban in the country earlier this year. Livestreams have grown 60% in India this year and increasing the number of guests that can join in on streams opens the door for new, exciting ways to encourage people to stream — and to watch streams.
  • Curious what the biggest trends on Twitter were this year? Find out with Twitter’s rundown. You won’t be shocked to see Chadwick Boseman, BTS, and coronavirus taking up the most retweeted tweets but the most liked tweets do vary a little.
  • Over in ad land, Twitter is opening up frequency capping as an option for all ad types. For the curious, this means you can manually set how many times users see your ads in a given period to give you better control over distribution. Really helpful for avoiding ‘ad fatigue.’
  • Meanwhile, Facebook and YouTube are both cracking down on what is and isn’t acceptable on the platform. Facebook’s particularly targeting coronavirus vaccine misinformation while YouTube’s aiming at hate speech so as to open the platform up properly as the inclusive, inviting space that the world’s largest video platform should be.

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