I know that it seems like I wanted to steer clear of the Covid-19 crisis, but some stories are just too interesting to pass up.
Figures released by Comscore have revealed some thought-provoking information surrounding the antics of folks online. In an nutshell, they've shown that whilst in other nations such as France and Italy, checking the news has been paramount to their daily happenings, in Britain, we've taken more of a shine to some retail therapy and social media.
The findings from Comscore do show that us Brits have taken more of an interest in the news, with a 54% increase in web traffic to news sites, but it's less than our European neighbours. Italy saw a colossal 68% increase to new sites, whereas France saw 63% and Spain 59%.
In terms of shopping, it would seem that in Britain, online retailers have got a captive audience, as web traffic to retail-related sites has increased by 14% and remained in the third spot in terms of popularity. This is contrary to other European nations, such as the badly-hit Spain, who have observed an 18% downturn in web traffic to online retailers.
Social media has seen a notable increase across the surveyed nations, with it still remaining some of the most popular ways to spend our time in lockdown. In other European nations, it's just as dominant, with France reporting a 45% increase in web traffic, along with Germany's 32%. Britain's usage pretty much sits in the middle at a 39% increase.
On the subject of social media, there's been some brilliant live streams taking place on Facebook by some of the resident Cavern Club artists in Liverpool, such as the brilliant Jonny Parry in his 'Conservatory Club' or Clark Gilmour, whose been doing lunchtime sessions every day for the last few weeks, but has taken a break recently and should be back soon! They're usually all-request affairs, so it's a chance to hear and ask for some rarely heard Beatles tunes that you wouldn't hear anywhere else!
YouTube has certainly been a big part of a lot of people's quarantine routines, and for those invested in all things Florida, there's a myriad of content out there. The press have been making a lot out of POV or Point of View videos recently, with cameras placed on some of the state's best attractions so you can rise all those great rollercoasters without b jng in the heat or leaving your own home. Aside from that, content creators like AdamTheWoo or TheTimTracker have proven popular in lifting spirits with daily blogs, even going as far as Disney World videos from their own home. If you can't get to the parks, they'll bring them to you!
One of the more notable things here is the spiked demand in gaming products that isn't really reflected in the figures that Comscore have provided. In Britain, the visits to sites relating to games has increased by only 12% and it isn't even mentioned in the other major European nations.
There's been massive demand increases in Britain for consoles, especially Nintendo Switches and PS4s, with the Xbox One seemingly lagging way behind. GSD (Games Sales Data) data showed that from the week of March 16, demand for consoles rose by 155%, which translates to 260,000 consoles sold, be it one of Microsoft's, Sony's or Nintendo's.
On the subject of gaming, one interesting point is the immense rise in the numbers of concurrent Steam users. A couple of weeks ago, Steam reached a new record on the amount of online users, a staggering 23.5m users, as well as a new record for those in-game at the same time - 7.25m users, beating a record of 7.2m set back in January 2018.
A game that's paved the way for this increase is my beloved Football Manager. The people over at SI decided to make it free for two weeks during the early days of the UK lockdown and it's certainly fair to say that it attracted a lot of attention. The handy infographic below details that there were 877,400 or so total players, with 21m matches played and 40m goals scored. It's a great game anyway, but this has only raised their bar and made more people involved in one of the best games of the year.
It's pretty interesting to see what different countries have been spending their time in lockdown, but rest-assured that these increases in web traffic are a reflection of people obeying laws and staying home. Certainly in Britain we just need people to do it a bit more than they are currently and then we'll see this out and have a proper summer. If you're going to do it for any sake, do it for those on the frontline. Stay home.