Nielsen: Multicultural Viewers Lead Increase in Streaming Service Subscriptions

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As more consumers work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, multicultural viewers are leading the trend toward an increase in streaming service subscriptions, according to a new Nielsen Total Audience Report for second quarter 2020.

According to Nielsen, 25% of all viewers have added at least one streaming service in the past three months, with 40% of Hispanic viewers adding at least one new streaming service to top all groups. Black viewers were second at 27% followed by white viewers at 25%. The recent debuts of HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi should continue to propel increases in streaming service subscriptions among all viewers throughout the rest of the year. 

Nielsen also reported that viewing from streaming services comprised one-fourth of all television minutes viewed during the quarter, up from 19% of TV usage in fourth quarter 2019.

“COVID-19 has catapulted streaming to become the present and future of content creation,” said Peter Katsingris, Nielsen senior VP of audience insights. “Today, it accounts for 25% of our collective time spent with the television among streaming capable homes.”

As streaming viewership increases, live TV viewing dropped to 3 hours and 43 minutes per day in the first quarter, down from 3:53 a year ago and 4:10 two years ago, according to Nielsen. Among multicultural groups, Black Americans watched 20 minutes less time per day of live and time shifted TV a day during the quarter, with Hispanics down nine minutes and Asian Americans down two minutes.

Black adults still spent nearly 50 hours a week viewing television during the first quarter 2020, dwarfing whites (37:50), Hispanics (28:27) and Asian Americans (22:38), according to the report. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.