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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Consumers are looking for fun and lighthearted entertainment to relieve stress during the coronavirus crisis, instead of categories like true crime or suspense.

Why it matters: Some mediums, like podcasting, that over-index on genres like true crime, may be partially impacted by the fact that consumers need a break from their regular content routines.

Driving the news: According to new research from tv research firm Magid, consumers are seeking out funny (39%) and fun (31%) videos, movies and TV programs during the coronavirus crisis.

  • More consumers are also watching familiar entertainment, or series and movies they already know. According to Magid, about a third of consumers have increased their engagement with content they already know well.
  • Users are looking for comedic relief, according to new data from Captify, a firm that specializes in search retargeting. Users searching for search terms within Captify's network such as funny movies, standup comedy, comedy, funny and sitcom as they relate to movies and TV shows was up over 314% from March 1 to April 12.

A similar phenomenon is happening with podcasts. Podcast consumption has been down since the virus began keeping people at home.

  • True Crime, which is traditionally one of podcasts' top categories, has been down in downloads over the past few weeks, according to data from podcast analytics firm Podtrac. News, business, and comedy are some of the top categories that have seen the most growth during the coronavirus era.

Between the lines: With more people stuck at home with families, including small kids, family entertainment is up during the coronavirus.

  • According to data from Hulu, the content categories that have seen the biggest jumps in viewers during the coronavirus are were dramas, movies and kids content.

What's next: While news and information has become a much heavier part of people's consumption diets during the coronavirus era, that could start to wear off as people get sick of the constant stream of bad news.

  • According to the Magid study, for the first time, about 1 in every 6 people say they are starting to actively avoid the news in order to relieve their stress.

Go deeper

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

48 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.