Findings from research firm Parks Associates reveal that in Q3 2020, more than 50 per cent of US broadband households reported that their broadband usage has increased since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
While consumers report broadband performance is keeping pace with the increased demand, in Q3 2020, 24 per cent of fixed broadband households reported plans to upgrade their speed in the next six months, compared to 18 per cent in Q2 2020.
“Broadband upgrade plans indicate many households see some Covid-19-related changes as permanent,” advises Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. “For video services, OTT service stacking has been particularly pronounced, with 45 per cent of US broadband households subscribing to three or more OTT services. Many consumers are planning to add new services such as Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and Peacock as a permanent part of their OTT service portfolio, beyond the traditional Big Three: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.”
Parks’ report, Covid-19: Impact on Communications and Entertainment, examines the impact of Covid-19 on service providers and consumer adoption and satisfaction throughout the communications, consumer technology, and entertainment and home services sectors. The research reports Covid-19 continues to widen the OTT/pay-TV gap. As many across the US remain homebound, households are continually relying on video content to fill their time outside of work and school. Within video services, Covid-19 has accelerated the trend of video viewers accessing OTT offerings at much higher rates than a pay-TV service via a traditional or online provider.
“Many traditional pay-TV subscribers are migrating to online pay-TV offerings or standalone OTT services,” notes Nason. “Traditional providers, who still comprise the majority of the pay-TV market, have to continually seek ways to integrate online video services into their offerings either through homegrown solutions or external partnerships.”