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Streaming Spikes by 12 Percent During Coronavirus-Induced Lockdowns, Report Finds

Stephanie Sengwe

Since lockdowns have been imposed worldwide in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, streaming numbers have been expected to hike as people spend more time at home. According to Forbes, early estimates show that streaming has jumped 12 percent worldwide.

“Increased consumption of digital content from mobile apps to free TV streaming and gaming has already been observed in China and Italy,” stated Maria Rua Aguete of Omdia. “Online streaming services provided by brands such as Netflix and now Disney+ are likely to see 12 percent growth.”

With Disney+ also launching this week in the UK and Europe, Omdia predicts more than five million paid subscriptions in Europe will come to over $160 million in revenue for Disney, as 14 percent of customers in Britain alone have signed up for either a one-year subscription or will be paying on a monthly basis.

Streaming has been essential during the lockdowns, so much so that the major streaming companies have resorted to lowering streaming quality in the EU. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney and YouTube have all defaulted to SD quality on videos in Europe — with YouTube taking the measure (link: worldwide — in an effort to preserve internet bandwidth.

EU internal market and services commissioner Thierry Breton said “streaming platforms, telecom operators and users all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” CNN Business reported.

Because companies were also expecting a hike in streaming, some — including WWE, Amazon and Comcast — have also modified their services and are allowing customers free access to content they would otherwise have to pay for.