Homebound Viewers Adding Multiple Video Providers

Consumers staying at home to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus are increasing the number of TV providers they use, according to a new study.

Hub Entertainment Research found that the number of homes with a streaming service increased to 78% from 72% last year. And the average household now has nearly 5 different services including both traditional pay-TV and streaming services, up from 3.7% a year ago and 3 in 2018.

The major streaming services have seen increases in subscribers. Netflix moved up to 63% of homes from 62% a year ago. Amazon say an even bigger jump, rising to 42% from 37%. Hulu increased to 28% from 26%.

Disney+, which launched late last year, is already in 31% of home. Apple TV+ was in 6% of home.

Not all households are sheltering at home, and their behavior is different from those that are, the study found. The difference was even greater when there are kids in the households.

Among those not self-isolating with no kids, 61% had a streaming service. Among those self-isolating 82% had a streaming service. And among those self-isolating with kids at home, 94% had a streaming service.

The average number of streaming services in homes that were not sheltering at home was 2.9. It rose to 5.3 services among homes that were quarantined. Homes with kids had 7 services and homes that were quarantined with kids at home had 7.5 services on average.

Netflix was in 44% of home that weren’t quarantining themselves and had no kids. In quarantined homes with kids, 83% had Netflix. For Disney+, the number rose from 13% to 54%. Hulu’s share jumped from 19% to 31% and Amazon rose to 55% from 31%.

“There’s no shortage of recent studies demonstrating that consumers are watching more television as they shelter at home,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study. “What our study shows is exactly where they’re turning to fill their newly found viewing time—primarily to streaming services that offer a combination of exclusive originals, family-friendly titles, and older shows that can provide a bit of nostalgic solace during this unprecedented and stressful time.”

Hub Entertainment Research conducted its “The Best Bundle Study” by doing 2,000 interviews with U.S. consumers during April.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.