Money-making behind the screens
by Daniella Pettenon
COVID-19 has brought stress to individuals and businesses across the world. However, there are a handful of companies that are thriving from the dramatic shift in consumer demand—Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Pornhub, Netflix, and DoorDash, to name a few.
For years, parents have been pushing their children to go outside and play, but now they have no choice but to keep them occupied indoors. Video games are one of the most effective ways to keep children busy while parents tend to their families and work from home during COVID-19. Electronic Arts’ sales have increased due to the growth in demand among children and young adults in developed countries across the world. EA and Origin are offering the Sims 4 and its extended packs for up to 85% off, allowing consumers to live their lives virtually in a perfect Sim world . Additionally, Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch has been a hit among gamers across the world as its release date was among the early chaos of COVID-19 lockdowns. Animal Crossing has been both an escape from reality and a major talking point among folks on social media.
For some, being locked at home means more porn. To help flatten the COVID-19 case curve, Pornhub has recently offered free premium membership to its users. Consequently, Pornhub has experienced a dramatic increase in site-traffic, up to 11.6% on March 17, and has even opened up corona-virus-themed entertainment options (why is this even a thing?).
Video-streaming services are also experiencing high usage, binge-watching being a common pastime for folks of all ages. Netflix has expressed concerns around bandwidth capacity—video quality has been reduced in Canada, Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand, and some Latin American countries. Disney Plus and Amazon Prime have plans to do the same. There aren’t any discussions around reducing payment plans among these streaming services, but many movies such as Trolls: World Tour and The Hunt5 that were previously planned to release in theatres are now being released on-demand instead.
Many restaurants across the country have closed down to encourage guests and their employees to stay home. However, online ordering and pick-ups are still options at many businesses. Food delivery services have been busier than ever, but they still have to take sanitation precautions by adjusting the drop-off policy to solely “leave at the door.” Door Dash is currently offering free delivery on orders over $10, and Uber Eats is offering free delivery by choosing to share a delivery partner with a nearby order. With these transactions, new liquor bylaws allow restaurants to sell their alcohol with these orders (yay!).
Zoom and other conferencing programs are profiting immensely during this pandemic as organizations and educational institutions are transitioning to online delivery. As of April 8, Zoom was worth more than American Airlines, Expedia, and Hilton combined. Additionally, the company has offered multiple kind offers to schools over the world to remove the 40-minute time limit over group calls. Video chat has been a social lifesaver to many as quarantine has been hurting social ties.
The fear of COVID-19 wipes away the reality of some companies that are benefiting from this unfortunate pandemic. It is heartwarming that these companies are providing support to their customers (through discounts and accommodations) rather than taking advantage of the increase in demand. This is just one example of our community quickly coming together through this difficult time.
Canal, Alexandra. 2020. Coronavirus forces certain films to go on-demand as pressure mounts for theaters. March 22. https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-forces-certain-films-to-go-ondemand-as-pressure-mounts-for-theaters-170738121.html.
Friend, David. 2020. Netflix reduces video quality in Canada to lower internet bandwidth use. March 26. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/netflix-reduces-video-quality-in-canada-to-lower-internet-bandwidth-use-1.4869993.
Novet, Jordan. 2020. Why Zoom has become the darling of remote workers during the COVID-19 crisis. March 21. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/21/why-zoom-has-become-darling-of-remote-workers-amid-covid-19-outbreak.html.
Origin. 2020. Sims Sales. March. https://www.origin.com/can/en-us/store/deals/simssale.
Pornhub Insights. 2020. Coronavirus Insights. March 23. https://www.pornhub.com/insights/corona-virus.
Zacks Equity Research. 2020. Coronavirus Lockdown Leads to Gaming Boom: 5 Stocks to Watch. March 27. https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/coronavirus-lockdown-leads-gaming-boom-150403655.html.