17 DEC 2020


The ongoing Covid crisis is heavily influencing TV and streaming consumption patterns in 2020. In fact, traditional TV consumption declined in almost every studied country, while streaming accelerated dramatically during lockdown.

17 DEC 2020

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The ongoing Covid crisis is heavily influencing TV and streaming consumption patterns in 2020, said Audience Project in its latest report. The investigation covered markets such as the United States, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. 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.

For streaming, the jump in reported consumer attention, compared to 2019, is 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.

In some cases, streaming does come with ads, so it is not all bad news for the TV advertising market, even though Audience Projects sees its 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.

Furthermore, the study reveals 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, 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.