Data: 76% US homes subscribe to OTT

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Findings from research firm Parks Associates reveal an increase in streaming video viewership during the Covid-19 outbreak. The survey of 10,000 broadband households, fielded between March 8th and April 3rd to 10,000 US heads of broadband households, finds 76 per cent of US broadband households subscribe to an OTT service, increasing by roughly six million households since Q1 2019.

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 per cent of US broadband households. The firm tracks the OTT video industry closely as part of its ongoing OTT Video Marker Tracker service 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 show that during that time, following widespread stay-at-home mandates, viewers exhibited significant shifts in preferred genres and shows:

  • Between March 16th and April 26th, 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 drama Doctor Foster and the movie Silver Linings Playbook had the most significant jumps in popularity from pre-Covid (February 17th to March 15th) to post-Covid (March 16th 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 capitalising 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.


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