76% of US broadband households subscribe to an OTT service

Monday, April 27th, 2020
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76% of US broadband households subscribe to an OTT service, adding roughly six million households since Q1 2019

  • Industry data from Reelgood shows shift to comedy genre in March after shelter-in-place orders

New consumer data from international research firm Parks Associates reveals an increase in streaming video viewership during the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey of 10,000 broadband households, fielded between March 8 and April 3 to 10,000 US heads of broadband households, finds 76% of US broadband households subscribe to an OTT service, increasing by roughly six million households since Q1 2019.

OTT Service Trials - U.S. Broadband Households - 1Q 2019 versus 1Q 2020

Parks Associates research also finds adoption of online pay-TV services such as YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and Sling TV has increased to 12% of US broadband households. The firm tracks the OTT video industry closely as part of its landmark ongoing service OTT Video Marker Tracker and quarterly consumer surveys.

“We are closely tracking shifts in technology use at home, as shelter-in-place orders have continued as a result of COVID-19,” said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. “Consumers are experimenting with watching video on different services and different devices. We anticipate a number of changes to occur, including higher consumption combined with reduced spending per month on services, which could boost ad-based services, as well as shifts in what content consumers are watching.”

Reelgood, an aggregator for streaming sources, also follows shifts in preferred genres and content consumption. New data tracking Reelgood’s 4.8 million OTT users from March 16 to April 26 shows that during that time, following widespread stay-at-home mandates, viewers exhibited significant shifts in preferred genres and shows:

  • Between March 16 and April 26, the most popular shows were Ozark, Money Heist, and Tiger King, all from Netflix. The most popular movie was Parasite.
  • Genres including Comedy, Faith and Spirituality, and Children increased their viewer share, while genres Horror, War, and Crime declined slightly.
  • The show Doctor Foster and the movie The Silver Linings Playbook had the most significant jumps in popularity from pre-COVID (February 17 to March 15) to post-COVID (March 16 to April 26).

“One of the biggest shifts—and opportunities—that we’re noticing is the massive spike in children’s content available to stream,” said Catharine Burhenne, Head of Marketing, Reelgood. “The entertainment businesses who thrive during the COVID and post-COVID eras will be the ones who can cater their offerings to accommodate the huge appetite for streaming kids content. Tubi’s launch of their app Tubi Kids is an example of businesses capitalizing on this opportunity.”

Parks Associates is launching multiple surveys in 2020 to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on connected in-home entertainment, including device ownership adoption and OTT and pay-TV services. COVID-19 Impact on Communications and Entertainment analyzes data from consumer surveys fielded in April-May 2020 on measuring the impact on consumer attitudes and spending regarding entertainment/communications services, content, and devices.