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High Levels of Streaming Continue, Even as Stay-at-Home Restrictions Ease

Fern Siegel

We’re living in a new normal, and connected TV usage, which skyrocketed at the beginning of the pandemic, is holding steady.

Nielsen finds that even as states relax shelter-at-home orders and businesses reopen, CTV trends remain above pre-COVID-19 levels.

For the week of May 4, connected TV shows totaled 3.5 billion hours of viewing in the U.S. For the last eight weeks, CTV viewing has averaged 3.8 billion hours.

Compare these stats to the weeks of March 2 and March 9, which average 2.8 billion hours.

In addition, Ampere Analysis research shows Americans with at least one streaming subscription are subscribing to more streaming services in 2020 than 2019. (Netflix added nearly 16 million new subscribers during Q1.)

Between January and March, the average U.S. streaming household subscribed to 3.3 streaming services — up 27 percent from the same time last year, when Americans subscribed to 2.6 services on average.

According to Ampere senior analyst Toby Holleran, Disney+ and Apple TV+ are driving the growth. He adds: “The Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle has also proven successful; we expect around 10 percent to 15 percent of Hulu subscribers to be taking the three-service bundle.”

And that’s before calculating HBO Max’s impact, which just debuted on May 27, and Peacock’s national launch in July.

The average U.S. household also paid $34 per month to stream, according to Ampere, up from the $30 per month customers were spending during Q1 2019.

Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash