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Younger Viewers Are Embracing Co-Viewing Apps

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Findings from Hub Entertainment Research’s third annual “Evolution of the TV Set” report show that co-viewing apps are increasingly popular with young audiences. Has the long-gestating vision of television viewing integrated with social media been delivered by the digital equivalent of sitting on a couch and talking about what’s on the TV set?

A quarter (23%) of viewers say they have watched via a co-viewing app or service this year, up over 2020 (20%). The vast majority of usage is among young people.

  • There are huge differences in co-viewing by age. 41% of viewers age 16-34 say they’ve used a co-viewing app, compared with 23% of those age 35-54 and only 3% of those 55 or older.
Amazon Watch Party is the most commonly used co-viewing app (44%). The next most popular apps are two adapted from other uses: Discord, popular among gamers (28%); and Zoom, the web meeting service made ubiquitous by the pandemic (27%).
  • Amazon Watch Party (AWP) shows some interesting differences by demographic, showing there is room in the co-viewing space for different services targeting specific markets. Those age 35-54 (57%) are more likely to use AWP than co-viewers age 16-34 (37%), and men (52%) more likely to use AWP than women (31%).  
  • Young co-viewers age 16-24 are less than half as likely to say they use Amazon Watch Party than adults 35-54 (24% vs 57%).  And a third (33%) of 16-24s use Discord, compared with a quarter (26%) of older viewers age 35-74.  
“Co-viewing apps and services are becoming increasingly important, no doubt driven in part by recent pandemic experiences,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “Content distributors and streaming services that help enable this behavior will increase their appeal to young adults overall, and in particular young men. This is an important consideration with the advent of fully or partially ad-supported streaming services and the desirability of these key demos to advertisers.”

Hub’s “Evolution of the TV Set 2021” report is a survey of 2,519 US consumers. Interviews were conducted in late May and early June 2021.  A free excerpt of the findings is available on Hub’s website. This report is part of Hub’s Entertainment + Technology Tracker syndicated report series.

Hub Entertainment Research measures the influence of technology on the way people find, choose, and consume entertainment content:  TV and digital video, movies, gaming, music and social media.  Our syndicated studies have tracked the most important trends in entertainment providers, devices, and technologies since 2013.

[Editor's note: This is a lightly edited press release.]

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