Grabyo’s new At Home Video Trends reports detail how radical changes in the lives of consumers has affected the UK and US video industries.
The beginning of 2020 marked a period of change for the video industry. As consumption habits shifted in favour of online and mobile video, the streaming wars had begun.
Fast-forward to March, and life completely changed. The COVID-19 health pandemic forced consumers across the world to shelter at home and stay safe.
With out-of-home entertainment unavailable, use of in-home entertainment soared. Consumers began watching more video than ever before, creating more demand for a wider range of services and channels to meet their needs.
Consumption of ad-supported (free-to-air) video rose on digital platforms. Twitch reported its hours watched increased 50% between March and April, and a full 101% year over year. While eMarketer predicts that social media use has risen to account for 20% of all time spent watching digital video.
Disney+ joined Britbox, NowTV, Apple TV+ and other streaming services in competing with the giants of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the UK. In the US, HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock joined an established paid streaming market also led by Netflix.
In order to track how these changes have affected the wider video industry, Grabyo surveyed over 2000 consumers in the UK and 2000 in the US on their viewing and purchasing habits, comparing these new findings with data it collected in January of the same size and scope. It then used this data to produce two new At Home Video Trends reports tailored for both the UK and US.
At home in the UK
In February, Grabyo’s Value of Video Report predicted that in five year’s time, pay-TV would only have a 30% market share in both the UK. Since January 2020, pay-TV market penetration has fallen 9% in the UK, reaching 53% of consumers.
Whereas streaming adoption has accelerated across every age group in the UK, reaching 65% of consumers. Since March, 1/3 of paying UK video customers have added at least one new streaming service.
Higher streaming adoption in older consumers has begun to closely align purchasing habits across age demographics. 60% of UK video customers aged 50-64 and 38% of those over 65 now pay for streaming.
The report tracks a decrease in Freeview TV audiences and an increase in social video viewing as consumer shift to digital platforms for free (ad-supported) video. During lockdown in the UK, many broadcasters and publishers have taken to experimenting with live social video formats. Consumers have engaged with these broadcasts and their interactive elements, dictating more of what they see on screen.
The report notes that this type of viewing experience is now heading into the mainstream.
At home in the US
Historically, the US has been ahead of the global curve when it comes to streaming adoption. In Grabyo’s February report US consumers indicated that pay-TV would only have a market share of 28% in five years.
However, during lockdown the US pay-TV/cable market has remained stable, increasing by 4%. Pay-TV customers have seen the value of their cable subscriptions during lockdown, and it will be interesting to see if this remains when isolation measures are fully lifted.
The US streaming market has seen remarkable growth since March, reaching 72% market penetration, with 1/3 of all US video customers acquiring at least one new service. 65% of US customers aged between 50-64 now pay for streaming, alongside 50% of over 65s.
75% of US consumers currently use social media to watch video regularly, more than pay-TV/cable and free-to-air linear TV. A 2020 report from We Are Social found that over 50% of the world’s population is now on social media, at a time when these platforms are transitioning from purely networking to entertainment and video destinations.
This shift is led by the US, as publishers and broadcasters took to experimenting with new live formats on social media while traditional productions have been shut down. Lockdown has accelerated this trend with no signs of slowing down.
For more insights, download Grabyo’s At Home Video Trends Reports below.
Stay safe everyone.