Entertainment, news and sports video streaming consumption increased more than 40% globally in Q2, nearly doubling the 23% growth seen in Q1, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to drive video’s evolutionary moment. Data from the Brightcove Q2 2020 Global Video Index, Media & Entertainment Edition showed that video starts year-over-year increased by 75% in April, one of the biggest single-month increases ever.
Video views were up every month, although to a lesser extent than April. In North America, views increased 103% in April, 40% in May and 53% in June, on the way to a 64% for the entire quarter.
View on smartphones have seen strong growth in both Q1 and Q2, ending the first half of the year with an increase of 47%.
Connected TVs saw even bigger growth, up by 160% in the second quarter. Clearly, consumers spending more time watching video at home increasingly have been watching it in the biggest screen available.
Sports video streaming loses big
Video views of news and entertainment content both saw big gains in the quarter as viewers – isolated at home – spent more time watching entertainment video and catching up on the news.
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But streaming views of sports content took a nose dive, off 26% globally in Q2 despite more content being made available as some sports took tentative steps toward “normal” seasons. The biggest loss in the quarter – 64% – came in June.
The biggest sports losses for the quarter were in India (down 93%), Asia-Pac (off 53%), The United States (down 42%) and Australia/New Zealand (down 40%).
There were two bright spots. Europe and the UK saw gains of 31% and 19% respectively, likely benefiting from the restart of professional soccer.
The bottom line
Q2 – and to a larger extent, Q3 – traditionally are slower months for video in much of the world. Summer vacation, family travel and better weather combine to curtail video viewing a bit. Conventional wisdom also would be to expect a slower quarter in the COVID-19 world as viewers grew weary of watching video at home, exhausted the original content of various services and simply cut back on viewing.
And, to an extent, we saw that happen. The numbers in June were off from April. But video streaming still saw big gains in every month of the quarter, will big gains even in the slowest months.
That’s because video streaming – across all demographics, young or old, rich or poor – is gaining more traction. Consumers have not just adopted video streaming as a norm, the’ve adapted to it… to its delivery, to the depth of content available, and to the very real fact that there’s more content available to them, on their terms, than there is on television.
We’ve reached a tipping point, and streaming will continue to gain ground on traditional TV until all TV is delivered over the top.
Stay tuned and stay well.