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How COVID-19 Has Changed Streaming Consumption and Viewer Behavior

Learn more about streaming viewership and personalization at Streaming Media East.

See complete videos and other highlights from Streaming Media West Connect on Streaming Media's YouTube channel.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Roland Martin: We're going to see the same situation as the fitness industry. If you try to go buy some dumbbells right now, it will cost you upwards of a thousand dollars, because what happened was, people couldn't go to the gym. So what did they do? They went out and bought everything. I actually went by Dick's Sporting Goods, and you could not find any physical fitness gear. They took everything. Why? Because people couldn't go to the gyms. If you think about our lives, the amount of time we spend driving to work, going to business places, going to entertainment, venues, doing those things, that's completely wiped out. There are people who go to Bible study on Wednesday, or church on Sunday. Now, churches are streaming. And so when your entire life has been completely disrupted, the only thing that you have are the four walls. And so now all of a sudden you start looking at well, what I want to do?

Speaker 1: (01:02)
I want to look at movies all day. So guess what happened? Documentaries exploded. I don't want to watch stuff all day. Podcasts exploded. News has exploded because people now COVID has caused 200,000 deaths, information is now important, and the election is going on. And so you're seeing, not just on the entertainment side; you're seeing it on the news consumption side, you're seeing it on the fitness consumption side. You're seeing people who normally didn't cook. So they're watching more cooking videos and cooking shows. And so everything that our lives have revolved around, which have been being physical and outdoors, has now become inward. And now that's transferred to "Let me go find the sources on digital or on television, where I can have that experience." And that's why you're seeing--whether it's news, fitness, food--all these sectors are seeing increases because you don't have any other things competing for the user's attention.

Tim Natividad: We're all living inside four walls. And so with streaming, the television screen has become a window outward. And that escapism and that comfort food is really coming through the delivery of streaming.

Speaker 2: (02:18)
Allan McLennan: And in summation of this, for the question is, the fact of it is that the viewer is now their own participant, they are participating, participating individually versus having so many different outside influences or what it was before. But what I heard was, basically, network forensics has been able to create a stability within the networks. We've identified the need of who's watching. So, measurement, personalization is coming up. Personalized content creation is starting to be able to be delivered. One of the biggest things is that the expectation of returning back to normal is not going to really happen. So everyone's getting around this and, to your point, Tim, television now is the window to the outside world and the engagement that each person has, whether it's exercise in the morning, whether it's news at noon, or whether it's primetime programming in the evening, the behavior of the viewer has shifted. And now that is a big change.

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