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Changing Media Lifestyles

May 3, 2021 |

The Performance Must Go On: Chasing the New Media Lifestyle

Unable to find research that kept pace with the rapid pandemic-related transformation in American’s lifestyles in 2020 / 2021, Broadbeam ran a study in February 2021 to reevaluate our assumptions about lifestyles and media diets. Data on these subjects were captured and clustered using a survey of respondents’ sensory experiences of the last year.

With so many media assumptions now in question, this study examines media’s new place in Americans’ lives that, along with our response data, will uncover the factors driving performance now.


While most Americans still turn to linear TV for daily unscripted programming like news, game shows and talk shows, subscriptions services have won hearts and minds. Driven by successes in emotionally resonant scripted genres like comedy, drama, and now recent movie releases, nearly 60% of SVOD users say it’s their most essential video platform.

What media matters most to viewers?

Linear TV – a.k.a. broadcast and cable channels – remains the most-often watched media. But while it is a part of daily consumers lives, they seek out different content on different platforms. Linear leads in daily content such as news and sports, but subscription services are preferred for less time sensitive content such as investigative non-fiction series or scripted dramas.
What Media Matters Most Chart
Where consumers go when they are looking for…
Changing Media Lifestyles Chart

Learn more about the changing roles of content genres in this podcast:



Broadbeam designed a mix methodology survey with a primarily quantitative approach fielded during February 2021. The sample size was 2028 with quotas applied based on race and ethnicity, as well as nested quotas applied on age and income to maintain a representative sample based on the 2019 American Community Survey’s estimates. Respondents took an average of 22 minutes to complete the survey which was divided into sections demarcated by title slides as well as a change to the color of the questionnaire’s background to renew respondents’ focus and avoid fatigue. The main sections of the questionnaire were each focused on the respondent’s perception of the last year through sight, taste, hearing, smell, touch, and feel to influence respondents to think about their last year in a way that would be engaging and fresh. Multiple quality control measures were taken to ensure response validity based on speed, consistency between answers, and quality of written responses.

Survey Methodology