Venatus and the COVID-19 outbreak

May 13, 2024




Venatus has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, working to find solutions for our clients during this challenging time. As we stay home, doing our bit to slow down the pandemic, it's been interesting to see how our online behaviour has changed. 

As a technology company that works alongside publishers and advertisers, we've found ourselves in a unique position. While our publishers are seeing more visitors than ever before, our advertisers are cutting budgets and working tirelessly to pivot their marketing strategy to adapt to this new reality.

We've compiled research and insights to provide you with an overview of the impact of COVID-19 on Venatus and our clients.

View our findings below or click here to download our infographic.


Last-minute changes to budgets, objectives and strategies have lowered the demand for advertising, lowering fill rates for publishers who now have more visitors than ever before. 

Over in the U.S., the IAB surveyed planners and brands between March 18 and March 24 to gather insight into how COVID-19 has impacted ad spend. The report found that 24% of respondents paused all advertising spend for the remainder of Q1 and Q2, while 46% are adjusting their spend. Respondents were expecting a 20% decrease in upfront spend compared to original budget plans. 

Attitudes towards advertising have also shifted, with only 37% of consumers wanting brands to continue to advertise as normal. To help build trust with audiences, marketers need to get creative and provide an engaging and interactive advertising experience.


Gaming began its life online as a safe place for people to immerse themselves in a new world. Years on, and these foundations have made gaming more valuable than ever. Esports is thriving despite event cancellations, and gaming has come to the rescue for people in self-isolation.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, gaming is up 75%, internet usage is increasing, and gaming audiences are bigger than ever. Nielsen also reported a spike in gaming amid the quarantine, 29% of U.S. gamers and 17% of U.K. gamers said they had upped their online gameplay with friends since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The desire for new games has seen audiences turn to online retailers to purchase new games, with 23% of respondents buying games digitally more often. Global Web Index saw similar growth in gaming, with 35% of people saying they were spending more time playing video games because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Getting Online

The lockdown has seen a spike in internet usage, with people staying home, plugging into Wi-Fi and using connected devices during times they'd usually be at work, commuting or at school.

GWI saw 84% of people also said they were spending more time on their smartphone because of the outbreak, while 52% were spending more time on their laptop. 


Gaming and entertainment publishers have seen incredible spikes in visits, it's brilliant to see so many new audiences visit these websites and apps. Alongside increased visits, we're seeing higher dwell times and more page views per visit.

Kids sites across our portfolio are also seeing significant growth, dwell time is up by 20% across, with audiences viewing an average of 1 more page per visit. Kids sites are busier than ever with a 40% increase in daily users post-lockdown.

Our Business

During these challenging times, we want to provide the most flexible and convenient solutions to our clients, which is why our global sales teams can deliver programmatic, programmatic guaranteed and direct sales for campaigns across our portfolio. 

Creativity has never felt more important. Our creative team are on hand to design the most engaging and interactive units for your campaign. Take inspiration from some of our award-winning creative campaigns here:

To help make the most out of ad opportunities we are offering website audits to ensure our publishers are making the most out of all creative formats and solutions, such as adblock recovery, to bring in additional revenue streams. 

Our portfolio continues to grow, and we are thrilled to have recently partnered with Gfinity Esports, the go-to brand for all things esports, working across their Real Sport 101, Gfinity Esports and Stealth Optional sites.