BOSTON—The coronavirus pandemic has impacted not only what viewers are watching during widespread shutdowns, it is also bringing more diversity to their choices. These are the conclusions of research firm Hub’s annual “Best Bundle” study that analyzes consumers’ TV viewing habits.
Not surprisingly, subscriptions to streaming services have jumped over the past year with more than 75% of respondents reporting that they have at least one online streaming subscription, up 6% from 2019. The biggest impact has been the debut of Disney+ which counts for nearly 1/3 of all TV subscriptions, less than six months since its November 2019 launch.
Netflix remains the king of subscription streaming, but Amazon and Hulu have seen the biggest year over year increases, according to Hub.
Hub’s study also distinguishes viewer behavior among respondents who said they are self isolating at home with kids and those who are not self isolating at home and do not have kids. Among households who are self isolating without kids, 82% have at least one subscription, and among those self isolating with kids, the rate jumps to 94%. The percentage of respondents who have at least one streaming subscription but say they are “not” self isolating and don’t have kids at home is much lower, at around 60%.
Among those who say they are self isolating at home, the average number of individual TV services they’re accessing is seven, Hub said.
“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.”
The data cited here comes from Hub’s “The Best Bundle” study, conducted among 2,000 US consumers with broadband, age 16-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data was collected in April 2020.
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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