Shifts in viewing behavior continue during COVID-19 pandemic

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 
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Streaming Services Continue to See Shifts in Viewing Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Smart TVs (+60 percent) and streaming boxes/sticks (+39 percent) saw significant year-over-year upticks

OTT App Share of Streaming Hours

RESTON, Va. — As millions of Americans adjusted to working from home and having to practice distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new research from Comscore (Nasdaq: SCOR), a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, shows engagement with streaming services and year-over-year in-home data usage surged in the beginning of May 2020.

Top Streaming Apps by Total Hours

When it comes to viewing entertainment through devices like streaming boxes/sticks and smart TVs, the “big five” streaming services still account for the majority of total over-the-top (OTT) hours streamed at home – upwards of 80 percent. Over the last two months, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ saw growth in share of streaming hours through the week of May 11 versus February 3. While Disney+ currently holds a smaller share of streaming hours among the “big five”, it is nearly two times larger than the next video-oriented OTT app offering in terms of streaming hours.

Average Data Usage by Device

Disney+ grew during the pandemic when looking at growth relative to its previous share. Some of the growth is likely related to content released to the streaming platform, such as the straight-to-VOD release of the movie “Onward” which landed on Disney+ on April 3, 2020.

Daily in-home Data Usage

Overall, average in-home data consumption was up 33 percent during the first ten days of May 2020 compared to the first ten days of May 2019 (May 1-10, 2020 versus May 1-10, 2019). This follows 28 percent and 36 percent year-over-year increases in March and April 2020, respectively. Smart TVs, mobile phones, streaming boxes/sticks, and smart speakers are driving the year-over-year growth trends.

In-home data usage remained strong through the week of April 20, 2020 but began to decline in recent weeks, possibly due to some states easing their social distancing protocols.

As governments start to re-open, in-home data consumption and OTT streaming habits will likely continue to shift. Comscore will continue to monitor the changing consumption and provide ongoing insights on its Coronavirus Insights Hub. To learn more about OTT streaming consumption and trends, contact us today.

Links: Comscore