We are living in uncertain times, but one thing is certain, the better we understand audiences, the better we can serve their needs and wants as marketers. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Nine has launched a weekly consumer sentiment poll to understand how we can help brands connect with our audiences in 2020.

Nine. Where Australia Connects.


Consumer Pulse is undertaken via short online surveys conducted weekly with Nine’s audiences - across linear television, 9Now and digital properties (and network sites), plus readers of news mastheads The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review (print + digital).

Consumer Pulse

Week 1 - commencing 15th March 2020

Headline Sentiments:

“When will it be over?”
“Will we all need to lock down like other countries?”
“Stop the panic buying”.
“How far away is a vaccine that is readily available to all?”

Macro themes


Global economic stimulus
With businesses standing down employees, and global stimulus commitments being enacted by the G20 leaders, the focus has shifted to the financial markets and how the long-term economic shock will play out in the medium to long term.

Brand Implication
Opportunity for brands existing in relevant categories (finance, retail and technology) is to guide consumers and business through new government legislation and what this means for themtheir families and their businesses.


The digital world
With over 1 billion people in social isolation, consumers' media consumption is evolving. This has been highlighted by increased demand for digital news and streaming services and the move to a digital lifestyle for products and services.

Brand Implication
Marketers must remain agile and responsive to emerging content consumption trends, pivoting to digital mediums which reach audiences at home, while balancing tonality to ensure messaging reflects broader consumer sentiment.


For the social good
The world is celebrating those on the front lines, with nations individual behavioural changes needed for the greater social good.

Brand implication
Brand purpose has never been more vital in these times of uncertainty. Consumers are looking for business to offer guidance, support and corporate behaviour that supports the greater social good.

News consumption

Our audiences are spending more time accessing news, across more sources and are more reliant on trusted sources of news.

While Financial Review readers are showing an increased appetite for news, 9Nation audiences are beginning to seek out positive and lighter stories.

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Levels of concern

Financial Review readers showed the highest levels of concern - predominantly with the economic impact (41% concerned). Other audiences were most concerned with the health of other family members and adequacy of health care (24% of 9Nation, 27% of metro news readers).

Issues of greatest concern:

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Things audiences are doing more

Our audiences are watching more linear television and streaming services, 1 in 10 had started paying for news and many had already started migrating to digital services for things they formerly did in person.

Financial Review readers are also currently working more, working from home and relaxing less right now - though a small number have already started to think about health and wellness.

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Impact on consumer spending

Spending on groceries, necessities, streaming services, news and for the Financial Review readers, home office supplies, had all increased; while expenditure on dining out, travel and fashion items had widespread decline.

While 31% of the Financial Review readers had reduced expenditure on investments, 18% had spent more.

Things audiences are spending more on:

Things audiences are spending less on:

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Discover how Nine’s audience consumption has changed

From radio to television, our audiences are choosing trusted news and lifestyle brands to stay informed and entertained.

Take a closer look with our audience consumption report.