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News Streaming Views Are Up 31%, According to Brightcove Report

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If you've been spending more time—lots more time—streaming news-related content lately, you're not the only one. No surprise there, but according to the new Q4 Brightcove Global Video Index, global viewers have consumed 31% more news streams than during the same two weeks in 2019.

One day in particular—March 13, the day President Trump declared a national emergency in the United States—saw the time viewers spent with news video streaming rise 47% year-over-year, while the overall number of video views that day was up a whopping 66% over March 13, 2019.

"Broadcasters used to be the go-to source for developing news stories, but the COVID-19 crisis has shown that consumers eagerly turn to streaming news sources for the latest updates—as well as in-depth coverage of news that’s important to them," said Jim O'Neill, principal analyst at Brightcove. "With streaming, news providers can update news on the fly, provide broader, deeper coverage, and pull in points of view from around the globe. And, they don’t need to worry about fitting reports into arbitrary time slots. They have the flexibility to truly tell a better story." 

Beyond that, the report found that the number of video views on tablets and smartphones—particularly smartphones—continues to rise. Video plays on tablets were up 20% over the last 12 months, but the number of plays on smartphones rose 77% while the number of plays on computers dropped by 10%. But even though views on tablets were up, the tablet's share of overall video views declined from 8.2% in Q3 to 7.8% in Q4, and both of those numbers were down from the same time periods in 2019. 

What about the amount of time viewers are spending with streaming video? Combined viewing time was up 23% across the globe, with connected TV time viewing up a staggering 114%, more than double what it was a year ago.

And while video plays and time spent viewing were both down on computers, there was one metric where computers outshined other devices: completion rates. On computers, 59% of videos were viewed to completion, but the report suggests that may be because people are more likely to watch short-form content on computers, whereas connected TVs showed a completion rate below 40% globally.

The full report is available for download. Registration is required.

In other Brightcove news, the company announced yesterday that its annual PLAY conference in May will be an online-only event called PLAY TV

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