Disney+, PPV Streaming Taking Off as People Stay at Home

As more and more people are observing social distancing and staying at home, the fact that they are watching more video might seem like the ultimate “dog bites man” non-story. Still, some recent findings from Hub Entertainment and Wurl show just how much TV viewing has increased in general, as well as how much of that increase is coming on streaming services.

A Hub survey of 1,276 TV consumers in the U.S. showed that 58% of respondents were staying at home and only leaving for necessities, and contrary to conventional wisdom, young adults (aged 16 to 24) are only doing so at a slightly lower rate (52%) than overall respondents. On the other hand, 16- to 24-year-olds are considerably less likely to be “very concerned” about COVID-19 (43%) than the overall pool of respondents (52%). 

But people of all age groups are watching more TV, whether broadcast, cable, or OTT. Wurl, which connects video publishers and streaming services, pulled data from approximately 5 million connected TV viewers and found an uptick in connected TV streaming of 12% in the U.S. during the week of March 16-22, compared to the previous week. France saw an increase of 23%, Italy saw a 15% increase, and Canada saw a 12% rise in connected TV viewing.

Hub asked respondents how much more or less they were viewing of different types of content, and combined the results of those who answered “a lot more” and those who said they were doing “a little more” to show that Disney+ and pay-per-view (PPV) have thus far been the biggest beneficiaries of the stay-at-home trend. 68% of respondents said they were watching more Disney+, while 66% said they were renting more movies and shows from PPV services. Hulu and Netflix viewing are up by similar amounts, followed close behind by gaming on PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo systems. What’s more, more than a quarter of respondents under the age of 55 expect to add additional TV subscriptions to their households while they’re stuck at home. 

What kind of content is grabbing viewers’ attention? 73% of the people who took the Hub survey agreed with the statement “Right now I find myself drawn more to ‘comfort viewing’—nostalgic or familiar shows.” But echoing findings from Brightcove last week, Hub found that news content is growing tremendously—65% of respondents who regularly view news said they’re watching more than they did a month ago. Children’s content viewing is up 60%, while movie viewing is up 48%. 

The full Hub infographic is below.

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