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Digital Video Views Keep Rising, Brightcove Finds

(Image credit: Eric Audras/Getty Images)

Video views in the second quarter rose 64% in North America during the second quarter, indicating continued strength for streaming as the COVID-19 crisis continued in most markets, according to a new report from Brightcove.

In its 2Q Global Video Index, Brightcove said that the second-quarter gains in North America came on top of a 19% jump in the first quarter, resulting in a 41% increase for the first half of the year.

“COVID-19 drove big gains early in the quarter (or, later in the quarter depending on where you lived), but the entire quarter saw Y/Y growth in views,” said Jim O’Niell, Brightcove Principal Analyst and the author of the report. “Consumers’ appetite for streaming hasn’t waned at all and there remains a great deal of opportunity.”

Viewing on connected TVs was up 548% in the quarter. Despite the fast growth, CTV still has just a small 3% share of all views. Viewing on mobile devices rose. Smartphones had a 41% share of viewing with tablets accounting for another 7%. Computers lost views, with their share of views falling to 49% from 56% a years ago.

Britghtcove found that viewers watch four times as long on CTV than on smartphones, and that half of the content that runs more than 41 minutes is watched on CTV.  

Completion rates on CTVs are less than 20%, while computers are highest (51%), followed by smartphones (46%) and tablets (45%).

“With numbers up on every device, content owners will need to consider all devices as primary screens – at least for now. CTVs and smartphones are destined to be the screens of choice,” the report said.

Globally, Brightcove found that consumption of entertainment, news and sports video content rose by 40% in the second quarter, following 23% growth in the first quarter. For the first six months of 2020, video consumption was up more than 30%.

“The streaming industry is exploding faster than we’ve ever seen before. While much can be attributed to COVID-19 keeping people indoors, stay-at-home orders do not account for the entirety of recent growth,” said O’Neill. “There has been significant growth within the video industry, leading to more video content streaming as a whole; OTT services like Netflix added nearly 26 million viewers and Disney Plus topped 54.5 million subscribers in Q2.”

Viewing of sports content was down 54% globally and in June they were down 64%. In the U.S., views of sports programmers were down 42% just before new live games started to be played.

Globally, viewing on connected TVs was up 160% in the second quarter, compared to a 30% increase in the first quarter. CTV’s global was only 3%, but that’s up from 2% in Q1.

“Study after study has shown consumers turning away from traditional TV to embrace streaming content,” the report said. “The ability to build bundles of content that appeal to individuals’ tastes has been a major draw, one that is going to continue to grow even as traditional TV – especially pay TV – loses traction with consumers who want to watch when and where they want to and often on their own personal screens, not a shared one in the living room.”