Consumers Are Streaming More Since the COVID-19 Outbreak – but What About Pay-TV On-Demand?

May 28, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Pay-TV & Cord-Cutting | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption

TDG COVID 19 Impact Pay TV On Demand May2020It is not just streaming video services whose viewing hours have increased in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to new data [press release] from The Diffusion Group (TDG), pay-TV on-demand viewing has also been on the rise.

The survey of almost 2,000 adults with broadband service in the home reveals that almost 8 in 10 (77% of) adults who subscribe to a pay-TV service use it to watch on-demand programming. Among these, the majority said that their usage of pay-TV on-demand had increased somewhat (41.7%) or significantly (18.5%) since the introduction of recent stay-at-home guidelines. Meanwhile, 4 in 10 (38.6%) reported no change in their viewing habits, with just 1.2% reporting some level of decrease.

TDG’s data reveals age-based and regional differences in how these viewing habits have changed. Close to one-quarter (23%) of respondents under 45 significantly increased their use of pay-TV on-demand, being twice as likely to do this as respondents ages 45 and over. Regionally, viewers in the western US were the most likely to significantly increase their usage (23%), followed by the Northeast (19%), the South (18%) and the Midwest (16%).

With this, pay-TV on-demand joins the ranks of entertainment channels whose viewing or listening hours have spiked as a result of current events, as seen in research compiled in MarketingCharts’ coronavirus data hub. Some stats of note within the data follow:

  • A GlobalWebIndex survey reveals that Americans are spending more time watching shows and films on streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu (42%) as well as TV on broadcast channels (42%).
  • A study by Resonate shows that one-quarter (23.4%) of US consumers report listening to streaming music, radio or podcasts more frequently as a result of the coronavirus situation.
  • As the coronavirus crisis continues, viewers across generations are saying they expect to spend more money on movie and TV streaming, per figures from Morning Consult. Between Mar 6-9, 14% of Millennials and 13% of Boomers said they expected to spend more money on these services because of the virus. By Mar 13-16, that figure had jumped to 26% and 24% respectively.

Read the full TDG release here.

About the Data: Viewing figures based on a survey of 708 pay-TV subscribers who watch programming on demand.


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