In the 4th edition of our annual TV and streaming study, we see that the ongoing Covid crisis is likely to be influencing TV and streaming consumption patterns in 2020 – and probably beyond

Our new study on TV and streaming certainly implies that the ongoing Covid crisis is heavily influencing TV and streaming consumption patterns in 2020. Of course, the data only suggests correlation rather than causality. Still, it is probably not the American election, for example, that has driven all of the dramatic trends seen in the study – although the reported uptick in news consumption could be partly attributed to that contest along with the pandemic!

Traditional TV under pressure

As usually, our covered markets are the US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland – echoing AudienceProject’s business regions of focus and also where we have historical data. In all of these markets, except Finland, there are some pretty sweeping trends to be seen. Finland bucks two key trends: reported weekly traditional TV viewing has in fact increased there, and the Finns also stand alone in being the only included market which has seen a reduction in the amount of reported streaming consumption.

In all other markets, the reported weekly traditional TV viewing continues to drop. However, in key markets, the rate of viewing decline has actually slowed slightly compared to previous YoY indications – this is certainly reflected in local TAM data in the UK, for example. In fact, the UK saw increased time spent with traditional TV, which has been largely attributed to the Covid crisis in that market’s ongoing media commentary. Interestingly, respondents report that they are seeing the same ads too many times on traditional TV; could that be due to a lower number of advertisers, with the unaffected categories taking advantage of reduced prices and upping frequency?

For streaming, the jump in reported consumer attention, compared to 2019 is, frankly, enormous – barring Denmark, who saw a more consistent increase aligned with the 2018-2019 growth. Unsurprisingly, as it is also born out in many other studies, the largest jump in streaming is in the sub 45 year age group.

Opportunities and challenges

Now, in some cases, streaming does come with ads, so it is not all bad news for the TV advertising market, even though we see our panel reporting in solid numbers (the highest market at 27%), that they are streaming at the expense of traditional TV. So, for traditional TV providers who have built up strong streamed offerings, there is some positivity here too.

Of concern (if you are reading from a legacy broadcaster or media buying position) is that one in five of respondents report that streaming is their only engagement with TV-like content these days. And with Netflix and Amazon taking the first two spots in key markets and being almost entirely ad-free (currently!), it will continue to take excellent data and very smart planning for advertisers to find and piece together the continually fragmenting commercial audiences that are crucial to product awareness and demand.

Get further insights

In our study, you can learn more about the current state of TV and streaming consumption in the US, UK, Germany and Nordics, including consumers’ attitudes towards YouTube, how consumers are highly impressed by Disney+, which streaming services are the most popular and much more. We hope you enjoy it and find insights within that will help as we enter the hopefully smoother sailing of 2021.

The study is based on more than 7,000 individual survey respondents across seven countries; The US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Download the full study and get further insights now: