Six key takeaways from Time Out’s July 2020 audience survey


Most consumers realise we’re in this for the long haul, but there’s still plenty to look forward to according to Time Out readers, in this valuable sampling of consumer sentiment. By Delima Shanti

Back in April, near the start of the pandemic, Time Out surveyed our readers to better understand what makes them tick. Months on since the pandemic first changed our lives, more and more of us, including Time Out readers, are understanding that we’re in it for the long haul. 

Time Out followed up with a second survey in July, when Victoria was in Stage 3 lockdown amid fears of community transmission, and the state was at the cusp of the Stage 4 restrictions being announced on the evening of August 2. In NSW meanwhile, there was growing concern that case numbers were increasing.

The latest survey touched on our core content pillars including city events, arts and culture, travel, shopping and entertainment. Here are six key takeaways we found:

1. The majority believe we’re in this for the long haul. In Time Out’s April-May survey, consumers were still relatively optimistic, with 30% believing the situation could return to a new normal within six months. This sentiment has soured somewhat and the number of those who believe the situation will continue for another year or more is up by 56%, from 10% to 23%. Financial stability is a key stressor, with 67% reporting being worried about future finances, up from 60% in April

2. People want to continue to focus on genuine self-care. We’re talking about self-care that is more than ‘treat yourself’ moments. One in two respondents wants to continue to enjoy the slower pace of life experienced in lockdown. Physical health is also important, with 48% aiming to continue to take greater care of their physical health.

3. Spending on things to enhance home life is up. Since Melbourne was in lockdown and Sydney was cautiously navigating post-lockdown life when this survey was taken, respondents reported spending more on groceries (56%), takeaway meals (40%), online streaming services (30%) and household furnishings and equipment (29%).

4. What are people expecting to spend more on? People can’t wait to get back to the activities they enjoyed more pre-Covid: 76% say they expect to spend more on dining (and drinking) out when they can, while 59% say they expect their spend to increase on recreation or leisure activities they’ve had to go without for months now.

5. 78% are somewhat or very comfortable to visit galleries and museums. Slightly more NSW respondents reported feeling comfortable as museums had reopened for longer in NSW when the survey ran, whereas Melbourne institutions like the NGV had to shut again soon after they reopened at the end of June. However, online engagement of digital events and performances is positive, with over 40% of survey respondents reporting they’ve watched one in the past month.

6. What influences which destinations people travel to? When restrictions are lifted, people are most likely to choose destinations within their state first (87%) before they consider interstate destinations (80%). Travellers consider natural attractions and activities or experiences at the destination the most important things that influence which destination they end up going to.

With an in-house analytics team on hand, Time Out is here to support you not only through marketing campaigns but also research, development and strategy sessions. For further information contact Commercial Director, on 0406 791 109 or elise.bucholtz@timeout.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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