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Streaming Continues to Grow With Viewers at Home: Nielsen

Consumers in the U.S. continue to stream more video content as they shelter in place to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, according to new figures from Nielsen.

Nielsen said that people watched 165 billion minutes of streaming content during the week of March 16, up 36% from 115 billion the week of Feb. 24 and more than double the same week the previous year.

The growth is being fueled by more platforms and more content arriving online. Nielsen notes that it does not yet separately report viewing on Disney+, but that service is helping to power significant growth in its “other” category.

Disney moved up the streaming release of Disney+ and with school closed, that was likely a catalyst for home viewing among kids and teens, who should have been doing online learning.

The share of streaming on TV among streaming-capable homes has increased over the past four weeks to 23% for the week of March 16. A year ago, streaming accounted for 14%.

Nielsen said Netflix had nine of the 10 most streamed shows, led by Spenser Confidential, a movie starring Mark Wahlberg. No. 2 was The Office, which has 192 episodes available on Netflix. Hunters on Amazon was the only non-Netflix show to crack the top 10.

During the most recent week, Netflix accounted for 29% of streaming minutes, followed by YouTube with 20%, Hulu with 10% and Amazon with 9%. “Others” accounted for 31%.

For the week of Feb. 24, Netflix had a 31% share, followed by 22% for YouTube, 10% for Hulu, 9% for Amazon and 28% for “others.”

A year ago, Netflix had a 36% share of streaming minutes, followed by 19% for YouTube, 15% for Hulu, 7% for Amazon and 23% for “others.”

According to Nielsen, 28.8% of streaming hours are being consumed by viewers in the 35-54 age demo. Older viewers in the 55-plus category, streamed 21.6% of minutes. Kids 2-11 consumed 15.6% of streaming minutes.

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.