The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data



Dr. Wojciech Hardy

DELab Analyst
He deals with the topic of digital markets mainly in the context of digitalization in creative sectors and new business models. He is currently analyzing the impact of Internet "piracy" on the creative industries and the attention economy in the context of digital entertainment. His research has also addressed the impact of technology on the labor market. He is also interested in issues of inequality and discrimination.
The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data

Dr. hab. Piotr Wójcik

Assistant professor
Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw
Dr. hab. Piotr Wójcik, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Warsaw. A graduate of economic studies at the University of Warsaw and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. His academic interests include analyses of regional inequalities and convergence, and quantitative finance (testing algorithmic investment strategies using historical stock quotes). Both areas of interest involve the use of advanced quantitative tools, including machine learning algorithms and the so-called eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI). Author and co-author of numerous scientific publications using various tools of quantitative data analysis and textbooks on the use of R software for data analysis. Originator and animator of the Data Science Lab research group at the WNE UW ( Manager and executor of numerous projects funded by the National Science Centre, European Commission (under Horizon 2020), Ministry of Regional Development and National Centre for Research and Development. Author and co-author of numerous academic courses, as well as practical workshop trainings for numerous companies and public sector institutions in fields directly related to Data Science: advanced programming in R and SAS, statistics, time series modelling and forecasting, econometrics, and machine learning. He has many years of professional experience as a quantitative analyst in the financial, telecommunications and marketing research industries. Author, manager and lecturer of the postgraduate course "Statistical methods in business. Workshops with SAS software". (11 editions between 2008-2019) and postgraduate studies "Data Science in business applications. Workshops using R software" (since 2017).
The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data

Maria Drabczyk

Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Digital Centre
KPI expert, Digital Centre

Sociologist, researcher, manager of cultural projects on heritage and new technologies. Member of the Board of the Europeana Network Association, Board of Directors of the EUscreen Foundation and Chair of The Committee on Value, Use and Copyright FIAT IFTA..

Previously, project coordinator responsible for the foreign cooperation of the National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute (FINA) in the field of building access and creative re-use of digital heritage for research, educational or artistic purposes, co-creator of the crowdfunding website and expert on International Relations at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Passionate about exploring and developing the social value of heritage organisations and supporting the cultural and education sectors to build audience-driven digital strategies.


Analyst DELab UW

Watch the recording of the seminar

The pan­de­mic and its asso­cia­ted restric­tions have affec­ted the enti­re world, chan­ging the way people work and live. Much has alre­ady been said abo­ut the impact on labor mar­kets, job displa­ce­ment to the home, and the social impact of the pan­de­mic. Howe­ver, lit­tle is known abo­ut actu­al chan­ges in eve­ry­day beha­vior and how the­se chan­ges rela­te to the seve­ri­ty of the cri­sis, enfor­ced con­stra­ints, or level of development.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Dr. Woj­ciech Har­dy pro­vi­des the first evi­den­ce of chan­ging daily life pat­terns, which inc­lu­des infor­ma­tion on the enti­re period sin­ce the begin­ning of the pan­de­mic for more than 50 coun­tries. He uses infor­ma­tion abo­ut when people listen to music to tra­ce how the pan­de­mic disrup­ted typi­cal pat­terns. The data col­lec­ted by the team comes from weekly YouTu­be charts and is com­bi­ned with Google Trends data. This allows you to obse­rve the hours of peak music liste­ning in dif­fe­rent coun­tries and times. This data is com­bi­ned (work in pro­gress) with case infor­ma­tion, con­stra­ints and bloc­kers, and macro indi­ca­tors, as well as other ava­ila­ble Google data for validation.

Based on the results of the ana­ly­sis, the­re is a cle­ar chan­ge in liste­ning pat­terns with the onset of the pan­de­mic. The pan­de­mic has redu­ced much of the music con­sump­tion during hours typi­cal­ly spent com­mu­ting to and from work. On the other hand, late eve­ning con­sump­tion incre­ased after usu­al time, sug­ge­sting a possi­ble shift to late eve­ning hours. The­se in turn are off­set by star­ting the work­day later. The­se shi­fts are cha­rac­te­ri­stic only of week­days, con­fir­ming a con­nec­tion to scho­ol or work.

Methods and data

First, the teat have col­lec­ted the weekly top 100 YouTu­be arti­sts charts for the 57 ava­ila­ble coun­tries. The data so far was col­lec­ted for the period of Janu­ary 2020 to Janu­ary 2021 and will be con­ti­nu­ously exten­ded to cover both fur­ther periods (inc­lu­ding 2021) and ear­lier periods (2019 for a bench­mark). The chart data inc­lu­des the num­ber of views in a given week for each of the top artists.

Second, for each week of the data, they have queried Google Trends for YouTu­be for the search popu­la­ri­ty of the respec­ti­ve arti­sts with an hour­ly fre­qu­en­cy. Thus, for each week and each coun­try, 100 arti­sts were chec­ked for popu­la­ri­ty in the YouTu­be sear­ches, with the queries retur­ning the popu­la­ri­ty with an hour­ly fre­qu­en­cy for all seven days of the week. The com­bi­ned data­set of Google Trends and YouTu­be charts allows us to track both the chan­ge in the hour­ly pat­terns of music liste­ning and the chan­ge in total viewership.

The few selec­ted figu­res below show mon­th­ly ave­ra­ges for the esti­ma­ted pat­terns of music liste­ning in seve­ral coun­tries. Of note are the shi­fts in work­day pat­terns and lack of such shi­fts in the week­ends. More­over, Swe­den – which did not enfor­ce any restric­tions at the start of the pan­de­mic – does not reflect pro­no­un­ced shi­fts. This is in line with the cau­sal inter­pre­ta­tion of the pan­de­mic and restric­tion effects on the obse­rved patterns.


A series of English-language meetings to present the results of research in the field of digitisation, conducted by researchers from European Union countries.

The seminars are an excellent opportunity to learn about topics undertaken at foreign universities and to discuss them with invited guests. Due to their interactive form, they are also an opportunity to build cooperation between Polish and foreign research centres. Past seminars can be found on the DELab UW website.

The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data
Koalicja na rzecz Polskich Innowacji Foundation
The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data
Build Up Your Future Conference - Faculty of Economic Sciences UW Student Representative Office
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The impact of COVID-19 on how people spend their time during the day – based on YouTube and Google Trends data
Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw
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