By: Matt Rader
Keep a safe distance from everyone.
Wash your hands. A lot.
So, what are those who are following stay-at-home orders doing with all this newfound free time on their (hopefully freshly washed) hands?
And with a plethora of streaming services, devices, and content available, it seems that time is being well spent.
In a recent study, eMarketer showed a huge spike in streaming video viewing with those adults who are 18+ and practicing social distancing since the stay-at-home orders became the new norm. Of those, nearly 70% responded saying that they are watching more Disney+ programming since the orders took place, with another 66% saying that they’re renting more pay-per-view movies or shows, watching Hulu, and Netflix.
With all this additional viewing, content providers are reaping the benefits with shows like Netflix’s “Tiger King,” and ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” leading the charge. In its first 10 days of availability, “Tiger King” reached 34 million viewers in the U.S. alone, according to Nielsen and “Business Insider.” Those viewers translate to more than 5 billion minutes.
Sports fans in the U.S. who suddenly found themselves without NBA playoffs or the start of the Major League Baseball season filled the void by turning to “The Last Dance,” a docu-style series chronicling the sixth and final NBA championship season of the Michael Jordan–led Chicago Bulls. The 10-part, weekly series was available on both the ESPN over-the-air properties as well as its app, which is available on most streaming devices, and led to nearly 6 million viewers reliving those Bulls glory days over the past five weeks.
And it’s not just new content that viewers are choosing to watch. Titles like “The Office,” “All American,” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” were among those most-viewed via streaming since the beginning of the social-distancing era.
All of this streaming has proven to be a boon to Netflix’s bottom line, too. Since mid-March, the streaming giant added 15.8 million subscribers, more than doubling the 7.2 that were anticipated.
Other streaming services are taking note of this success, too. Streaming content providers like HBO, CBS All Access, Hulu, and Apple TV+ are also offering consumers free content and extended trial periods in an effort to keep up with Netflix and take advantage of consumers’ free time.
For advertisers, it will be an interesting study to see how this global pandemic will change consumer’s viewing and listening habits both during and after it passes. Our guess is that higher viewership and listenership of streaming content will become the new normal. We’ll keep you posted.
Now go wash your hands.