Streaming Numbers Fall as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

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BOSTON—Content consumption shot up during quarantines, but a new study shows that when restrictions began to be lifted, streaming numbers came down from what they were during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategy Analytics surveyed U.S. adults over March, April and May to find COVID-19’s impact on SVOD. For Netflix, 47% of respondents used the service in March, then 50% did so in April. However, in May, when many states began to ease lock-down restrictions, that number dropped to 42%.

Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ saw similar “pandemic peak” patterns. The number of users for Apple TV+ and CBS All Access, however, rose in both April and May.

(Image credit: Strategy Analytics)

“It’s not surprising that there was a spike in demand for video services as many people were stuck at home for several weeks,” said David Mercer, vice president, Media and Intelligent Home, at Strategy Analytics. “SVOD services have benefited to varying degrees, and they must all now focus on retaining customers who have joined recently as well as ensuring that their content development strategies are on track. This will prove challenging for many players, given the continuing crisis in video production as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.”

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