Knitting, and other habits revealed by Brits’ changing reading interests in lockdown

Mike Richards

5th May

Never mind cooking or taking up a new language, for some demographics complex knitting patterns have burst forth, as we continue our ‘Count of Monte Cristo’ lifestyles while spending more and more time reading trusted media news.

Time Inc (TI), which produces a consumer research piece each week now, reports that one in two UK adults are catching up with friends and family through some form of video link.

With exercise and home renovations becoming increasingly popular, media within the TI stable which have shown the biggest highlights in increased traffic include Cycling Weekly, Decanter, Horse & Hound, Ideal Home and Marie Claire.

In addition to this, one of the most looked-at pieces of content was on – an article entitled “Knitting help: how to pick up a dropped stitch.”

I’m a crochet man myself, knitting remains a mystery to me.

The Times and Sunday Times combined have, yet again, seen week-on-week increases in their unique visitors, up 12%. Over a similar period, the Sunday Times’ circulation is up nearly 11%, but The Times is down nearly 4%, with the caveat that there was a Bank Holiday during this reporting period.

On FE Trustnet, comparing last April’s traffic to last month, professional adviser traffic is up 73% overall (185% in increase in the news pages). The private investor audience has seen even greater growth. Overall traffic is up 87% and news traffic is double – illustrating, again, that people are gravitating towards trusted media.

In Germany, sales of Der Spiegel (think The Spectator meets The Economist) has seen its regular newsstand copies increase and people who would have normally purchased the weekly magazine at train stations are now buying it in supermarkets. Can you imagine buying The Economist in Aldi or Lidl in this country?

The website has reached record levels for several days in a row. At the end of March its unique users stood at 7.54m, historically it had hovered around 4-4.5m.

Subscriptions to the print edition of Süddeutsche Zeitung are up 10% and users of (the website of the Süddeutsche) has doubled since this time last year. Page views are also up 97% and digital subs have increased by 18%.

Bavarians are taking their lockdown very seriously with Bavaria now wryly monikered ‘Guantanamo Bayern’. Bavarians are clearly looking at the internet more, at least, until football returns there on 9 May (auf geht’s Bayern). Magazines in Germany have seen a subscription increase of 25%.

In the Netherlands 24% more people are reading a newspaper – and they are spending 30 minutes doing so. FD (the Dutch equivalent to the FT) now has 100,000 subscribers. 54% of Dutch people are using online news and now has 2.5m unique users.

NRC in the Netherlands (the Dutch equivalent of The Times or The Telegraph) has had its subscribers tripled, while readership within Dutch print media is up by about a third and time reading is up 136%.

In Belgium, the number of visitors to their French and Flemish equivalents to the FT, and, have tripled.

In Japan, access to Nikkei print and digital has soared too. The paper is delivered to readers’ homes, with 95% of readers subscription-based.