Work from home has gone from an occasional option to statewide mandate for many in the past month, and folks are staying home more in general during the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented time has impacted many businesses in a negative way, but other industries like streaming are thriving. According to the latest numbers from Nielsen, the amount of time folks are streaming content is way up across the board, with Netflix leading the pack.
According to Nielsen data analyzing television viewing statistics, streaming content accounted for 23% of all television being viewed the week of March 15. Of that percentage, 29% was on Netflix, 20% was on YouTube, 10% Hulu, and 9% Amazon Prime Video. It was a 36% increase from February 24 (via Deadline), and a full 50% higher than the same week of March measured from the year prior. In total, there were 156 billion streaming minutes during an impressive week for streaming.
No word on how much of that time was dedicated to Netflix's hit docuseries Tiger King, but Spenser Confidential was listed as the most popular content on Netflix that week. In what may surprise absolutely no one, The Office came in second despite the fact that it can be found on several different cable television stations.
Netflix isn't the only beneficiary streamer of the stay-at-home order either. The "other" category of Nielsen, which consists of Disney+, CBS All Access and many others, has also seen a significant rise accounting for 31% of the total streaming minutes. Disney+ releasing Frozen II early and CBS All Access dropping a code for a free month likely helped boost stats, but it's still an impressive metric nonetheless.
The news is a confirmation that streaming services are benefiting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and may only continue to thrive as networks are forced to alter scheduling of what remaining new programming they have left. Plus, financial hardship may cause some to forgo expensive cable plans in favor of a cord cutting lifestyle, which was a trend already on the up ahead of this pandemic. The longer people are at home, it's very possible Netflix and other streamers will only continue to benefit.
With that said, the coming months will see Quibi, Peacock, and HBO Max all joining the streaming game, which could result in Netflix and others losing some loyal viewers as well. It may also boost the streaming minutes yet again, provided Americans are still under the same quarantine protocols that are presently in place. Obviously this is an unprecedented event, so it's hard to speculate on whether or not streaming minutes will continue to rise, or things will change yet again.
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