At Least Six Million New Households Started Streaming in 2020





Cheerful family having popcorn while watching television at home

Since last year, at least six million more households have started streaming.   

According to Parks Associates, a research firm that specifically deals with emerging technology, 76% of US homes with broadband say they have at least one streaming service, up six million homes since 2019. 

Parks Associates’ data also showed a noticeable increase in the number of people who have added multiple services on top of what they already have. 

For the first quarter of 2019, the number of people who didn’t add a new service stood at 60%. Over 20% added one service, 10% added two new, about 3% added three, and 5% added four or more. For that same period 2020 though, the “no new additions” group shrank to 50%, the “one new addition” and “two new additions” groups held the same percentage, and the “three or more” and “four or more” groups both rose about 5% each. 

“We are closely tracking shifts in technology use at home, as shelter-in-place orders have continued as a result of COVID-19,” Parks Associates’ Research Director Steve Nason said in a press release. “Consumers are experimenting with watching videos on different services and different devices. We anticipate a number of changes to occur, including higher consumption combined with reduced spending per month on services, which could boost ad-based services, as well as shifts in what content consumers are watching.”

So what’s the biggest takeaway? Since 2019, the percentage of people who didn’t add a new service got smaller while the percentage of people who added at least three services increased. It’s not new news that people are streaming more than before, but it’s interesting to see that not only are people adding more services, they’re adding them in bulk. 

Did the coronavirus pandemic affect these results? To some extent, for sure. But even before this spring, the uptick in streaming was already very clear.   

This study was conducted among 10,000 US homes with broadband and occurred in late March and early April 2020.

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