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COVID-19 Upends Streaming Trends, Apple TV Plus and CBS All Access Show Consistent Gains

Fern Siegel

From March through May, stay-at-home orders had U.S. viewers binging on streamers, a pandemic peak. But SVOD stats have shifted, as the weather has warmed and some states relaxed restrictions.

In a new study, “COVID-19’s Impact on SVOD,” Strategy Analytics surveyed U.S. adults and found that Apple TV+ and CBS All Access sustained their rises.

In April, 15% of the survey respondents used Apple TV+, which grew to 19% in May. For CBS All Access, 9% of the respondents used the service in April, while 12% watched it in May. HBO Now and Showtime held steady in the same time period: 13% and 7%, respectively.

The bigger surprise is the performance of major streamers.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ all dipped from their April to May numbers. Netflix was down to 42% of survey respondents using the service in May (from 50% in April); Amazon Prime Video, slipping to 40% in May (42% in April); Hulu, 24% (from 30%) and Disney+, 18% (from 23%).

Michael Goodman, director, TV-media strategies for Strategy Analytics, and the report’s author, stated: “Ironically, Netflix may have suffered through being the most popular SVOD service, since it appears to have attracted many new but ultimately temporary users during the pandemic. Its next quarterly results will be watched with interest in case its strong Q1 performance is not sustained into Q2.”

Now, SVODs are focused on retaining customers.

The report surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 4,000 U.S. adults, 18+, in March, April and May.

Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash