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Research: Lockdown, Disney+ changing viewing patterns

May 4, 2020

Hub Entertainment Research’s latest Best Bundle study, which looks at how US consumers put together TV services to best meet their viewing needs, reveals big changes in the last year, driven by both Covid-inflicted, self-isolating behaviours and the introduction of Disney+ in November 2019.

Highlights from the study:

  1. Streaming services have seen a jump in subscribers in the past year.
  • More than three in four TV consumers have an online streaming subscription, 6 points higher than in 2019.
  1. The top SVoD services have seen the largest year-over-year increases, especially Amazon and Hulu. But the most notable finding is how quickly Disney+ has altered the streaming landscape.
  • Less than six months since it launched, nearly one-third of TV consumers have Disney+.
  1. Taking all providers into account—including traditional pay-TV service and the full range of online services—the average consumer now accesses TV from nearly five different services.
  • That average number has been growing over the past several years, but has taken a big jump in the past year—up more than one service per consumer.
  1. Shelter-at-home behaviours are having a dramatic impact on subscription to online TV services.
  • Among those who are not self-isolating due to Covid and do not have kids at home because schools are closed, six in 10 have at least one streaming service subscription.
  • Among those who are self-isolating, the percent climbs to 82 per cent.
  • Among those self-isolating and with kids at home, streaming service use is nearly universal, at 94 per cent.
  • The streaming services getting especially big boosts among adults and kids sheltering at home are the four major SVoDs: Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, and Hulu.
  1. In the end, with more time to fill and more interests to cater to, families sheltering at home are watching from an extremely wide variety of TV services.
  • Those isolating at home because of Covid, along with their kids, access more than seven individual TV services, on average.

“There’s no shortage of recent studies demonstrating that consumers are watching more television as they shelter at home,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “What our study shows is exactly where they’re turning to fill their newly found viewing time—primarily to streaming services that offer a combination of exclusive originals, family-friendly titles, and older shows that can provide a bit of nostalgic solace during this unprecedented and stressful time.”

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