New data shows that an estimated 20 million people streamed election news on The Roku Channel and Roku’s other multiple free, ad-supported channels. In a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll for Roku, 8/10 respondents were streamers. Streaming consumption during the election surged, possibly contributing to why this election saw the largest voter turnout in history.
The analysis covered viewership of the DNC and RNC conventions, both presidential debates and two town halls, the vice presidential debate and Election Day coverage.
“TV streaming democratizes access to content and nowhere have we seen this trend come into play more than with the ability for millions of Americans to access free news at their convenience via their streaming platform,” said Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD for Roku. “This election season, households with tens of millions of people were able to stream live news from some of the world’s most respected media outlets, including ABC and NBC News, for free on the Roku platform.”
On Election day, Roku saw an estimated 12 million viewers streaming news content for free, with more than half of those coming from The Roku Channel in particular which offers ABC News Live, NBC News Now, Cheddar, and the Spanish language América Tevé. Roku viewers watched 500% more streaming content on Election Day than the previous day, creating a new record for live linear streaming hours on Roku.
What’s more, two-thirds of those viewers fell within the 18-49 year old demographic. This year’s election saw a large turnout of young voters.
Not only did more people stream their election news this year, but fewer viewers tuned in to traditional linear TV. Nielsen reports linear viewership dropped 35% on Election Day in comparison to the last election four years ago in 2016. On the other hand, streaming increased by a whopping 499%.
“The desire to access live and breaking news is no longer holding audiences to traditional pay TV the way it once did,” added Hovey. “Millions of Americans have now discovered new ways to access quality news programming for free, which we believe will only further the migration towards a streaming-first television world”.