Blog-headline_Netflix

Five things to do while isolating, other than Netflix.

During a downturn (this one, like no other!), things can get a little tough. Consumers become frugal and sales tend to go down. But, some things go up.

Like chocolate sales and red lipstick. (Read more about the “lipstick effect” here.)

Some things, REALLY go up.

Months of self-isolation are ideal conditions for binge-watching and this month, Netflix surpassed the value of Disney – Hollywood’s biggest studio. And according to Yahoo Finance, 48% of people forget to cancel a free trial before the subscription fees kick in. So there’s one company making hay, while it rains!

Netflix reports that its 117.6 million subscribers watch 140 million hours of content on average, everyday. Streaming Observer editor-in-chief and Forbes contributor, Chris Brantner, divided the number of hours by the number of subscribers to find that the average user spends 71 minutes each day, watching Netflix. That was back in September, 2018. We’ve got a lot more free time on our hands now.

Recently, The Economist reported that Covid-19 is a short-term boom for streaming services. Data from market-researchers, Nielsen, indicates people do indeed turn to the box, in a crisis. Television consumption across America went up by 18% in the week ending March 22nd, compared with the week before. Viewership of live television rose by 14%, while the use of video-game consoles climbed to a staggering 35%.

The 31% increase in ‘live’ TV was especially marked for teenagers; many of them can no longer go to school. Overall internet usage rose by 28%, partly because so many workers must now meet their colleagues digitally, rather than face-to-face.

But let’s face it, I reckon it’s triple that. A quick glance at my Netflix ‘Continue Watching’ list suggests that we watched four seasons of ‘Outlander’ in less than three weeks. I love Netflix, but I’m not sure how I feel about investing over 400 hours with them, in the next 6 months.

So, here are five things to do during social isolation, other than watch Netflix.

1) Reconnect with mates through online gaming.

At the moment, I’m playing ‘Call Of Duty: Warzone‘ on Sony PS4.

It’s a freaking awesome game. And it’s free.

It’s also a great way to keep in touch with your mates, during lockdown.

Similar to Fortnite, Warzone is simple. 150 people parachute onto a giant map with a slowly shrinking play area. One player (or team) is left standing. Think: Hunger Games.

Only ten days from its release, Call of Duty: Warzone topped 30 million players; safe to say, it’s the game to play during the Pandemic.

Interestingly, The World Health Organisation (WHO) is recommending video games as an effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19. (For a moment, let’s ignore that WHO also listed “gaming disorder” as a mental health disorder in 2019…)

In April, game-play streaming service Twitch reported it had more than 4 million concurrent viewers on its platform for the first time, ever.

It seems that online gaming is getting a massive boost from the coronavirus pandemic and who knows what the future holds.

2) Have a second look at board games

Sales of premium analogue board games have been booming during the coronavirus shutdown.

And I’m not talking Scrabble, or Monopoly. Things have changed in the board games world over the past 15 years. You owe it to yourself to take a second look. There are some really great games out there with immersive themes and rich mechanics like Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy (sorry, didn’t choose the name!), Catan, Agricola, and Carcassonne, to name but a few. Sidenote: Pandemic is sold out. My current favourite is ‘7 Wonders: Duel‘. 7 Wonders is a civilization building game, where you must lead your civilisation to victory through three ages; by drafting cards that represent economic, cultural, scientific, and military achievements.

Like chess, it is a two-player board game, perfect for lock down.

Duel Box

3) Buy a bicycle, if there are any left.

Bikes are the new toilet rolls. This April, 7NEWS reported extraordinary figures, showing just how much a bike buying frenzy is sweeping the nation during the lockdown, supported by stratospheric figures provided by Bicycles Online.

In their sales figures since mid-March, they have seen a 302% increase in total purchases, compared to the same period last year.

These include sales of bicycles, bicycle parts, and accessories. There’s been a whopping 267% increase in the city-based purchases, as urban commuters look for alternatives to public transport.

James Van Rooyen, Director and co-founder of Bicycles Online said “Sales are exceeding what we would expect to see at Christmas.”

Personally, I ride an Orbea Orca. It’s a smooth ride, made in Spain. With gyms and sporting activities cancelled at the moment, getting out for a long bike ride is great way to burn energy and the excesses of an unhealthy diet. It also gets the creative juices flowing in your brain. Benefits galore.

4) Adopt a pet from Pet Rescue

According to ABC News, coronavirus has seen a pet fostering surge, however cat and dog homes are equally bracing for a rise in pets being surrendered. (Rhiannon Shine, ABC News)

Dog’s Refuge Home General Manager, Kristi Treadgold, says there’s already been an increase in dogs being surrendered.

“If you can help us to help more dogs, please do so by coming in to adopt and spending that time that you have got at home to put into the dog. [It] is going to give it back to you 10-fold in mental wellbeing and good positive feelings.”

We decided, it was the perfect time to think about adopting a pet.

Meet Arlo. We decided to adopt Arlo from Pet Rescue this April and now we can’t imagine life without him. He’s the perfect companion dog.

5) Buy your ‘other half’ some flowers

One industry that is not doing so well… Florists. Australian flower growers have destroyed tens of thousands of flowers since the coronavirus shut down and some florists businesses have permanently closed.

One way you can support local florists, is to purchase their goods, online. We can all do with a bit of colour during lockdown, right?

My wife asked “What are these lilies for?”

I replied “Because, it’s Thursday.”

Who needs a reason, right?

To tap into the minds of a team that could put your business on the map during isolation, give us a call at nextThursday. You don’t need to be selling a streaming service or bicycles for us to add value to your brand. You just need a passion for success.

DAVID FANNING

Head Of Studio, nextThursday