Study: Consumers Likely To Stick To Covid Home Viewing Patterns
When it comes to video streaming patterns, U.S. consumer viewing patterns established during the pandemic are likely to continue for the long term, says a recently released study from Hub Entertainment Research.
In particular, Americans are keen on continuing the practice of viewing movies and program premieres at home rather than strictly in the theaters.
The study, entitled “Predicting the Pandemic,” was conducted among 3,000 U.S. consumers age 14-74 who watch a minimum of 1 hour of TV per week, found the pandemic resulted in higher usage of video on demand (VoD) and pay per view (PPV) content among pay-TV customers.
Breaking this down further, the study found the following:
In June 2021, two-thirds of respondents who were pay-TV subscribers said they watched free VoD included with their subscription at least once a week, up from fewer than 50% in February 2020.
Those who purchased or rented shows or movies at least once a week through a pay-TV provider doubled between February 2020 and June 2021.
Viewership of premium VoD movies surged with theaters and consumers forced to spend more time at home, and where in July 2020 only one-fifth of those suveyed had paid to stream a movie that skipped theatrical release due to COVID-19, the volume had climbed to one-third by June 2021.
“Before the pandemic, more viewers were already paying a premium to watch new movies at home,” stated Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub Entertainment Research. “HBO Max and Disney poured more gas on the fire by redefining the release window for new movies. Add in the fact that many upgraded their home viewing tech during the pandemic, and we have perfect conditions for driving consumption of PVoD even after anxiety about theaters has faded completely.”
Hub’s research found that one of the factors for this change was the fact that more consumer had purchased better home theater products for watching movies but also accessing them.
Among those with a smart TV, almost 40% said they had bought a smart TV during in 2020 or 2021, and half of those bought a smart TV after vaccines became available in April 2021.
Almost two-thirds of moviegoers said they now expect streaming at home to become a regular part of the way to see new movies.
Among those who intend to watch new movies in the next year, 38% indicated that they intend to mostly stream at home, while 36% will opt for the theater and 26% will do both.
Hub’s study concluded that “even as lifted restrictions and better weather lure people outside the home, the vast majority of consumers say they’re watching at least as much TV—if not more—than during the peak of the pandemic.
And while about one in four consumers have decided to drop a TV service now that restrictions have eased, more than one in three have actually added services during that time.”
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By Greg Tarr
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