OTT Viewing Doubled Since COVID Lockdown: TVision

With people at home quarantined during COVID-19, weekday TV patterns have morphed to look more like a seven-day weekend, according to research from TVision.

“After more than a month of social distancing and lockdowns we have seen dramatic changes in TV viewing behaviors. Across all TV, including linear and streaming, we see that everyday looks more like Sunday, with substantially more TV viewing occurring in the daytime hours,” said Luke McGuinness, president of TVision

TVision compared pre-COVID-19 viewing from Feb. 2 to March 13, with viewing during the pandemic from March 14 to April 13.

Related: Kids Register Biggest Gains in Quarantine Viewing: Nielsen

While TV viewing is up by a healthy amount, over-the-top viewing is up substantially and OTT co-viewing has spiked, TVision found.

Time spent viewing OTT content doubled in the evening by weeks three and four of the lock down and there was a 65% increase in OTT co-viewing during daytime.

“Across the industry, OTT providers have reported an increase in subscriptions and that increase corresponds with as much as a 2x increase in time spent viewing OTT content in homes during the lockdown,” McGuiness said. “We also see people are increasingly watching OTT together, with a dramatic two-thirds increase in OTT co-viewing during daytime hours.”

The top linear programming for daytime viewability after the lockdown started were Lifetime’s Mommy’s Little Princess, Syfy’s The Duel, MTV’s The Internship, Coyote Ugly on E! and The Blindside on Freeform.

“Advertisers who are trying to optimize their ad spends right now can identify highly viewable day time programming with larger than normal audiences. This will increase the impact of the ad dollars they spend,” McGuinness said.

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.