As parts of America start to open back up from stay-at-home orders, we can expect to see television consumption slow down. For now, research is showing that streaming is continuing to show higher than normal numbers while traditional TV is getting back to pre-COVID numbers.
According to recent numbers from Nielsen, connected TV viewing (smart TVs, internet-connected devices and video game consoles) accounted for 3.5 billion hours in the first week of May, right at its average of 3.8 billion hours over the past two months and well above the average of 2.8 billion hours a week from early March.
Exact numbers for traditional television weren’t given, but Nielsen noted “usage is normalizing to pre-pandemic levels” and that overall usage in May was only slightly above 2019 levels. Connected TV usage remains significantly above pre-pandemic levels.
The rise in media consumption was expected, and well documented, Nielsen said, and will likely continue as the country adjusts to “the new normal”. It appears that many people who discovered streaming in the past few months are sticking around. “With 49 of the U.S. states now re-opening partially or fully,” they stated, increased connected TV viewing is the “new normal.”
Nielsen also threw in this interesting nugget: more than 60% of the subscription service minutes viewed are licensed/acquired content rather than a service’s original content. So while it’s nearly an even split, fans still prefer “regular cable” shows.
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