Nielsen: Streaming Made Up Quarter of TV Viewing in Q2 2020

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WASHINGTON—The combination of a growing number of streaming services and stay-at-home practices during the COVID-19 pandemic are contributing to the increase of streaming in TV viewers daily habits, according to the latest study from Nielsen.

Looking at the second quarter of 2020, Nielsen found that the amount of time streaming makes up viewers' daily TV usage has grown to 25% of all minutes viewed. Netflix is the most popular streaming service, accounting for 34% of the streaming share, followed by YouTube at 20%. Having launched just last November, Disney+ rounds out the top five services at 4%, behind Hulu (11%) and Amazon Prime Video (8%).

In total, the average weekly streaming minutes across all age groups for Q2 2020 was 142.5 billion, which is up from 81.7 billion in Q2 2019. While each age group increased their time watching streaming services, the 55 and over age group saw the biggest growth year-over-year. Making up 19% of all streaming minutes in Q2 2019, the 55+ age group now accounts for 26%.

PLUS: SVOD Subscriptions Grew by 28% in 2019

The number of streaming services consumers are subscribed to has also been increasing recently, per Nielsen. In the past three months, 25% of adults added a new streaming service, while only 2% decreased their number of services. 

While streaming continues its rise, live TV consumption saw a decrease in the first quarter of 2020. Viewers spent 3 hours and 43 minutes per day watching live TV in Q1 2020, down from 3 hours 53 minutes over the same time in 2019 and down from 4 hours and 10 minutes in 2018. 

In addition, the share of TV households with a pay-TV subscription dropped to 76.3% compared to 78.1% in 2019, Nielsen reported. SVOD subscribers, meanwhile, rose 70% to 74%. The percentage of people who own internet enabled TV-connected devices went up from 72% to 77% as well.

“COVID-19 has catapulted streaming to become the present and future of content creation,” said Peter Katsingris, senior vice president of Audience Insights for Nielsen.

For more information, the full report is available on Nielsen’s website