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Co-viewing App Usage Surges -- Has TV's Social Revolution Finally Arrived?

Family watching TV
(Image credit: FreePik)

About 23% of U.S. TV viewers have used a co-viewing app this year, up from 20% in the quarantine year of 2020, according to Hub Entertainment Research. 

The finding, based on a survey of 2,519 U.S. consumers, suggests the long-anticipated convergence of social media and simple, passive act of watching TV might have finally arrived, in a format more simplistic than previously imagined. 

Not surprisingly, the behavior skews young--41% of viewers age 16-34 say they’ve used a co-viewing app, compared with 23% of those age 35-54 and only 3% of those 55 or older, Hub says. 

According to the survey, Amazon Watch Party is the most popular co-viewing app, but it also skews older and male. Viewers age 35-54 (57%) are more likely to use AWP than co-viewers age 16-34 (37%), and men (52%) more likely to use AWP than women (31%). 

Hub Entertainment Research

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)

The usage behavior, however, is favored by the young, with the 16-34 cohort being by far the biggest supporter of these apps. 

“Co-viewing apps and services are becoming increasingly important, no doubt driven in part by recent pandemic experiences,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “Content distributors and streaming services that help enable this behavior will increase their appeal to young adults overall, and in particular young men. This is an important consideration with the advent of fully or partially ad-supported streaming services and the desirability of these key demos to advertisers.”

Hub Entertainment Research

(Image credit: Hub Entertainment Research)