Covid-19 has had immediate impacts on streaming consumption patterns and engagement, with marked differences in the past month alone, according to Conviva’s latest streaming data report. In this unprecedented time for streaming, Europe-based video publishers face distinct challenges.
Key findings in the report include:
• Streaming was stable in March for European publishers – On a global scale, streaming jumped more than 20 per cent as compared to two weeks prior, with the Americas contributing significantly, up nearly 27 per cent in the same time period. The overall stability in Europe masks a number of drastic shifts in consumption patterns.
• Sports consumption has collapsed – Sports content in Europe has typically accounted for 30 per cent share of viewing –the effect of near-universal suspension of sport in Europe has been profound. Comparing the last week of March vs. the first week, sports viewing hours were down 91 per cent.
• Entertainment consumption is up – Entertainment consumption rose by 39 per cent in Europe. With its larger share of viewing, this was sufficient to cancel out the drop attributed to sports.
• News consumption has skyrocketed – As viewers stay up to date on the latest, news increased over 130 per cent and tripled its share of viewing.
• VoD consumption has overtaken Live – On-demand content consumption is up 41 per cent whilst live consumption has dropped 30 per cent.
• US streaming powerhouses distract – Coincidental launch of some US streaming services in March have distracted some viewers from the home-grown streaming platforms.
Looking to the future
Television’s transition to the Internet will accelerate – The increase in VoD consumption is likely to indicate a longer-term shift to on-demand viewing behaviour.
Back catalogue significance will increase – A trend that was well underway before Covid-19, as demonstrated by the vast sums paid for shows such as Friends, The Office, and Seinfeld, is likely to accelerate in Europe. As the release rate of fresh premium content reduces and captive audiences rediscover old content, the quantity and quality of back catalogues will be more important than ever.
Sports will bounce back with a vengeance – Europe’s appetite for sports content hasn’t diminished. A pivot to eSports amongst sports-centric publishers has demonstrated demand remains. With several tournaments touted to recommence behind closed doors, demand for sports broadcasting will be higher than ever.