When COVID-19 first forced Americans to quarantine, we at E-Poll Market Research conducted a survey to uncover the concerns and hopes of Americans as well as to gauge where they saw themselves in the coming months.
In April, political conservatives thought that life would return to normal within three months. Independents and Democrats believed it would take much longer. Five months on, it appears we are still in the throes of a very severe pandemic. We looked back at some other trends that were anticipated by our survey compared to where we are today. Did their predictions hold true? And what does it say about the remaining months in 2020?
Trends Predicted by Our Survey
E-Poll’s April survey looked to gain an insight into the impact the #StayAtHome order would have on Americans. We can see now that a lot of the data pointed towards the reality we still face today.
- Exercising at home was the top lifestyle change Americans planned, and that has stayed true as people have searched out gym alternatives with companies like Peloton and at-home workouts, leading to a worldwide fitness equipment shortage. Peloton’s stock price has more than tripled since March.
- Another of the top changes forecast by the survey: Americans said they would be watching more TV shows and streamed programming. Ratings are up across the board and especially in streaming, where average weekly minutes streamed has surged 74% vs the same period last year.
- Americans also told us that they planned to see fewer movies in the theater. Theatrical movies will be testing the waters after a number of forced delays due to increases in Covid cases. Audiences who said they wouldn’t rush out might just be ready to get to a new release soon. One interesting development is the recent deal between AMC and Universal Pictures to bring streamed movies to your home sooner. This may be one of many new business models to emerge from pandemic disruption.
- There has been an increase in podcast consumption in the months following the start of the pandemic, with industry tracking showing 15 million more monthly listeners vs. 2019, an increase of 17%.
- When asked what impact on big commitments the pandemic brought, Americans told us they would be putting off Buying/Leasing a Car, and US auto sales were down 34% in the second quarter compared to 2019.
- To view what other predictions came from our survey and how they compare to today, download a free copy of our full Stay at Home report here.
Areas Where Americans Differed From Today’s Reality
Americans were uncertain about the course of the pandemic and expressed a mixture of optimism about the future and caution about economic decisions. Now we can see where those feeling have diverged from reality.
- When asked about their optimism towards their life situation after the crisis passes, conservatives were much more optimistic than their moderate and liberal counterparts which fell in line with their predictions that the pandemic wouldn’t last longer than 3 months.
- Only 18% of respondents anticipated continuing online learning, while at least two thirds of universities and many secondary schools across the country are either partially or exclusively online.
- Many Americans saw themselves delaying major real estate transactions but with people spending more time at home, many have sought out opportunities to upgrade their living spaces. As a result, the real estate market has been on fire, with sales up 17% year-over-year.
To view all the data from this report and to see how else Americans have been impacted by the pandemic, you can get a free copy of our full Stay At Home Report here.