Q3 2021 Global Video Index: Streaming views, time watched soar globally

Q3 2021 saw us not only watch more streaming video than we had a year earlier, we also watched for longer periods of time, according to Brightcove’s Q3 2021 Global Video Index.

The quarterly Index showed a nearly 2X increase in the number of views for streaming news, sports and entertainment, an increase of better than 94%. Time spent watching video, meanwhile, increased more than 152%.

The increases are remarkable in that they outpaced the growth we saw during the heart of the Covid-19 pandemic, which were – at the time – an evolutionary event in how we watched video entertainment.

Gains in views, time, were universal

This past quarter’s biggest gains were seen by entertainment streamers, where views were up 149.2% year-over-year. Entertainment services also saw viewers spend more time watching content, increasing more than 184% over Q3 2020.

Sports streamers – which saw games and events cancelled during the pandemic, seasons shortened and league alignments adjusted – rebounded in the quarter, with views more than doubling (+117%) and time spent watching up a whopping 171.6%.

For news streaming services, which saw the biggest gains of all during the pandemic and US presidential election – the gains in Q3 weren’t as large, but they were still significant. Views were up 68% for the quarter, and time watched saw an increase of 79%.

Every region in the world saw strong Q3 gains in views, with Japan (+204%), India (+130%), Australia/New Zealand (+114%), and Europe (+93%) seeing the biggest gains.

The time watched gains were also global, with India (+204%), Japan (+202%), Middle East/Africa (+169%), Australia/New Zealand (+139%) and Europe (+117%) showing the largest spikes.

The bottom line

Q3’s numbers show a global increase in streaming video’s traction among consumers. Recent industry reports show a huge influx of older consumers – Gen X, Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation – to streaming services a confluence of generations with younger early adopters. At the same time, traditional broadcast and pay TV has seen significant declines.

Despite chatter that the streaming market is seeing saturation, the growth continues… and that means media companies need to continue – and in some cases accelerate – their pivot to an all-streaming future.

Jim O’Neill is Director of the Strategic Consulting Practice at Brightcove, as well as Brightcove’s Principal Analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn