National Institute for Cultural Research and Training
Monitoring the cultural domain in Romania during the Covid-19 crisis
Release date: April 8, 2020
The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to changes regarding cultural consumption. Because the cultural offer is largely moving to the digital environment, we are witnessing a transfer of cultural consumption from offline to online, a transformation of public consumption into non-public consumption.
A report of the online financial platform Revolut regarding the period stretching from March the 14th to April the 14th notes that there is at least a 40% increase in the value and amount of spending on on-line entertainment. In this category, the report includes the online film streaming services as well as digital games [SOURCE]. Moreover, Netflix reports a doubling of their profits compared to last year, attributing this increase to the physical distancing and isolation measures imposed by the current extraordinary context [SOURCE]. Similarly, the online film-streaming platform, HBO GO, marked a 25% increase of their cash inflow in the last month. [SOURCE]
Initiatives to encourage the cultural consumption of solidarity [SOURCE] have appeared both in Romania and abroad in support of the cultural sector, the efforts of physicians or other causes generated by the current context:
How is cultural consumption reflected in public discourse?
The opinions of psychotherapists, as expressed in mass-media, identify this difficult time as a catalyst on the interest towards cultural consumption. Physical and psychological isolation generates the necessity for psychological comfort that culture can generate [SOURCE].
Cultural consumption is constructed in this sense as one of the methods to mitigate the effects of generalized panic and pressure of isolation, and to enable people to spend time in a useful, pleasant and interesting way. Thus, it is suggested that, through culture, the COVID-19 crisis can be seen as an opportunity to try new things, cultural products put aside [SOURCE], cultural consumption and self-reconnection [SOURCE]. Along the same lines of argument, cultural consumption is seen as an instrument that helps improve morale and can contribute to well-being [SOURCE].