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Global Streaming Up More Than 20% in March, Says Conviva

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As more people stay at home, tune into the news, and watch video on social media and OTT services, streaming viewing globally shot up nearly 21% during the first three weeks of March, and the U.S. saw a 26.6% rise in streaming viewing hours. That's according to the "Streaming in the Time of Coronavirus" report issued today by Conviva.

More notably, daytime viewing is up most significantly, while primetime viewing actually dropped slightly. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., viewing was up 39%, while early morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) saw a rise of 26% and early fringe (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) saw a 20% growth. The primetime slots of 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. saw a 2% drop, while the late fringe viewing (10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.) saw a 5% drop. But people are waking up early to start catching the day's news—or maybe they just can't sleep—as the overnight daypart (2 a.m. to 6 a.m.) saw at 4% uptick in viewing.

Not surprisingly, much of that growing in streaming is due to increased news viewing, and local news on Facebook has seen the biggest increase—total video views are up 247%, and views per video is up 118%. But Twitter came out on top when it comes to viewer engagement, showing a 196% increase in average engagements per video and a 63% increase in overall engagement for local news. Even the more passive YouTube viewing experience is becoming more active, as engagement with videos on that platform (likes, dislikes, and comments) went up 50% in the past 30 days. Perhaps as we are able to engage less in real life, we're engaging more online?

Convica CEO Bill Demas said he believes that streaming services and social video platforms will reap long-term benefits from this (hopefully) short-term crisis.

"While new users may be signing up for free trials today, we expect that many will appreciate the flexibility, quality of content, and lower price point of streaming services they are introduced to during this time," he says. "This will translate to viewers retaining the service after the crisis passes, likely in lieu of traditional forms of viewing such as movie theaters and bulky cable bundles—especially as they look to moderate entertainment spend. We also know that staying home is not a 2-week proposition, but will be an ongoing trend for some time. As viewers adjust to the new normal, streaming takes a central role for many."

The data for the report was collected from Conviva's proprietary sensor technology, which is currently embedded in 3 billion streaming video applications and analyzes 1.5 trillion real-time transactions daily.  All told, Conviva measures more than 500 million viewers watching 150 billion streams in more than 180 countries. Social data comes from analysis of 6 million social posts and 577,000 videos across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

You can download a copy of the report here.

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