Media Consumption following the death of The Queen
Undoubtedly the immediate days and weeks following the death of HRH the Queen affected us all in some way or another. It certainly affected consumption of media, and the way the media had to change their everyday broadcasting and reporting.
TV schedules were heavily disrupted prompting the conversation about whether coverage about The Queen was excessive, with 49% of audiences saying it was too much v’s 41% of people who thought it was “about right”. In spite of this, the Queen’s global popularity and influence was evident, with an estimated 4 billion viewers watching the funeral and an audience of 25 million viewers in the UK.
The Queens death and funeral prompted many of us to buy a newspaper…certainly this was something that was discussed in our office… around 5.5 million people who claim they “don’t usually buy a newspaper” said that they bought one following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Sun saw a 33% increase week-on-week of physical copies sold on Friday, September 9, while The Times saw an enormous 113% increase on the same day. Commemoration issues were in such demand that some copies of The Times were selling on eBay the day after for over £50.
News websites saw a surge in traffic over the period of mourning; The Sun drove over 10 million unique views for several consecutive days following the news, while The Times also saw huge uplifts, with over 11 million page views for content relating to “the Queen’” in the first five days following her death.
When it came to TV, OOH and wider media, the majority halted all advertising activity as a mark of respect.
From a marketing perspective there were brands that were wide of the mark with their sentiments (mentioning no names). You Gov released figures that suggested consumers were cynical of such brand responses, with almost six in 10 saying brand messages about the Queen were more driven by PR than a sincere desire to pay respects. Only 28% thought these messages were likely to be genuinely heartfelt.