With the holidays fast approaching and Amazon Prime Day just ahead, Roku this week released findings from its 2020 Holiday Consumer Shopping study shedding a little light on the zeitgeist of U.S. consumers preparing for the biggest shopping period of the year during this unprecedented period of pandemic.

Coincidentally, Reelgood released the findings of a user study showing exactly what its users are streaming most via the top premium video-on demand services over Q2 and Q3 of 2020. The study revealed some interesting shifts in usage patterns, particularly among the newer app services.

Reelgood, a competitor of sorts to Roku, launched in 2017 as a browser-based movie and TV aggregation app and now has mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices as well as smart TV apps for the Android TV, Fire TV, and Apple TV platforms. Smart TV users can download the Reelgood app via their devices’ app stores.

As for one of the nation’s current top-streaming platform OS providers, the Roku-commissioned Harris Poll found a few significant shifts in Americans’ intentions, attitudes and behaviors for gift giving this year. Spoiler alert: it included streaming products and services.

Roku is both a developer of smart TV operating systems running its streaming aggregation platform on its own digital media streaming devices and partners’ fully integrated Roku TVs, as well as an aggregator of advertised video on demand (AVoD) movies and television programs on its The Roku Channel that is optimized for cord cutters. Roku devices are positioned for the easiest possible use and offer access to streaming media content from an extensive range of online apps and services, including its own. It also happens to make affordable high-fidelity audio for TV aftermarket solutions that help to integrate the Roku streaming platform and user experience within turnkey home theater packages for TV set owners.

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The Roku survey shed some insight onto the way U.S. consumers plan to shop for TV streaming devices and services this year compared to the previous holiday seasons and how their adoption of TV streaming is affecting their decision planning.

Among the more outstanding revelations were the following:

• Streaming is overtaking traditional TV viewing and Americans now report spending more time streaming content than watching traditional pay TV programming (See metrics chart at top).
• Two-thirds of U.S. households surveyed indicate their own financial situation has either improved or stayed the same since last year, and as a result 7 in 10 of those homes plan to spend the same or more on gifts this year.
• Nearly one-third (31%) plan to buy a gift to support working from home for either themselves or someone else.
• Nearly one third of shoppers plan to buy more gifts for more people this year because shelter-in-place rules or recommendations will prevent them from visiting family members and friends.
• Eighty five percent of all U.S. households are now streaming and 96% of Millennial households. In addition, 72% of Baby Boomer households, registered as streamers in this year’s report.

Meanwhile, in a study on how U.S. consumers are actually using various categories of streaming on-demand video services, Reelgood found some change in the usage rates, and the rankings of the top five premium service providers during Q3-2020.

Source: Reelgood

The study findings were gleaned from 2 million Reelgood U.S. users during Q2 and Q3-2020.

According to the results, Netflix continued to dominate SVoD services during Q3-2020, although its share of streams dropped by 22% compared to Q2.

Prime Video remained in second place with 21% share of streams, and Hulu was firmly positioned in the third spot with 15%. Among other top providers, HBO Max outpaced Disney+ in Q3 with 50% more initiated streams via Reelgood. Note that at this time and during the time of the study, Roku devices do not yet carry the HBO Max app.

Source: Reelgood

Reelgood also analyzed streaming share by service type (SVoD, AVoD, TVoD, TVE) for Q2 and Q3 of 2020, and found SVoD streaming share as a whole was down 9% compared to Q2-2020, while advertising-based video on demand (AVoD) was up by 23%, and initiated streams for transactional video on demand (TVOD) was up 22%.

Reelgood attributed the increase in TVoD streaming in Q3 to the release of several high-profile productions including: Bill & Ted Face The Music, Mulan, Ava, and Antebellum, each of which registered impressively highly take rates, Reelgood said.

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By Greg Tarr

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