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) and deeper dive surveys (conducted monthly) 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).

Capturing the mood

Week 11 - commencing 1st June 2020

Headline Sentiments

“Feeling a bit in limbo”

“Proud of Australia”

“We still have a very long way to go”

Topical themes


Back to school

53% of The Sydney Morning Herald readers agreed it was the right time to send NSW students back to school this week (29% disagreed, 17% were unsure).


Testing times

36% of The Age readers would agree to participate in a clinical trial for the coronavirus vaccine (41% would not, 23% were unsure).

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) and Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, Steven Miles (left) are seen during a press conference at Queensland Parliament House in Brisbane, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Premier Palaszczuk announced that a 30 year old man from the central Queensland town of Blackwater who died overnight has tested positive to COVID-19.  (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING

State controls

72% of The Sydney Morning Herald readers think the states should be allowed to make their own decisions on when to open their borders (21% disagree, 7% are unsure).

Mood tracker - hope and hesitation

This week hope and optimism remain on top, positive and negative emotions are on almost equal footing. But concerns about safety, health and hygiene continue to breed anxiety and hesitation about attending activities in public spaces.

Mood wk 11

Positive emotions trending up

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Venturing out: attitudes to entertainment options

This week we explored attitudes to out-of-home entertainment (such as cinemas, galleries, museums, pubs, clubs, music or sporting venues), and when audiences anticipated going to them.

The dominant response across audiences was to hold back; more n 1 in 3 said ‘It really depends - I’ll wait and see what happens before deciding’, a further 1 in 6 said they would ‘wait a few weeks before going’.

Some were less concerned - 1 in 6 were ‘keen to go as soon as venues reopened’, a small proportion had been out already (1 in 20).

Approach to out-of-home entertainment

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In the comments, factors causing audiences to hold back included:

-          health and hygiene concerns

-          risk of infection

-          anxiety about inadequate social distancing measures

-          colder weather discouraging outdoor activities

-          poor air quality discouraging indoor activities

-          a lack of financial security or funds to pay for activities

Assuring safety

For those needing encouragement, there were specific measures favoured at venues:

-  Over 1 in 2 need to see clear social distancing practices e.g. seating, managed people flows

-   Nearly 1 in 2 want to see enhanced health/hygiene measures like hand sanitisers and cleaning

-   Fewer than 1 in 3 want to see temperature checks on entry, 1 in 6 favour compulsory masks

-   Around 1 in 5 are looking to booking practices to make sure they get in

-   About 1 in 6 are seeking discounts or reduced entry fees (higher for 9Nation audiences, about 1 in 4)

Beyond these measures, 1 in 3 are waiting for positive news about the reduced spread of COVID-19, another 1 in 3 are waiting until they generally feel safe, which is likely to take time.

In the comments, some indicated they are just waiting for something they’re interested in:

“I’ll wait for a decent movie to come and then go”

“Make sure it’s decent entertainment so it’s worth the risk”

“I’ll go to what I'm interested in (films, cafes, galleries) and I'm sure that whatever arrangements they have in place will quite adequate”.

Encouragements to venture out

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Further sentiments

“Like a lot of the population, my finances dictate what activities can or can't be done week to week”

 “It really depends on the activity. Cinema/galleries where you distance = yes. Clubs/bands/sport crowds where you are crammed in = no”

“Not ready to be in crowds or venues, until things fully open and see what the consequences might be”

“I'll be more selective than normal about the things I do; all depends on numbers attending and perceived risks/benefits”

“I went to a restaurant for dinner and the corona safety was terrible. I’ll. Be waiting for that to improve before trying again”

“I will go straight away, but with extra cautionary measures”

“I will wait until they return to normal trading”

Safe spaces: in-home and in-car

As a consequence of safety concerns (along with the arrival of cooler weather), audiences continue to favour the comfort of their homes and cars. Habits around in-home entertainment and activities are well-established, and driving is the one out-of-home activity seeing solid growth each week.

Established habits: Activities done ‘about the same amount’ as last week

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Major purchase considerations

Financial security and economic worries remain a feature among audiences, nonetheless some are considering spend in certain categories.

60% of Nine’s audiences are researching or considering one or more major purchases.

The top 5 types of major purchase being considered this week vary across audience groups, with Financial Review readers having the highest propensity to consider spend across several categories.

9Nation audiences and SMH / The Age readers’ are most likely to be considering:

-          domestic travel

-          home entertainment technology

-          major home redecoration, renovations or improvements

-          investments

-          new car purchases

Financial Review readers are most likely to be considering:

-          investments

-          domestic travel

-          major home redecoration, renovations or improvements

-          insurance products

-          new car purchases

Major purchase considerations in the last week

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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.