Recent Usage of Streaming Platforms
In the past few months, streaming services and platforms have experienced a paradigm shift due to the emergence of COVID-19, prompting social distance initiative. More so, music streaming services have experienced a significant loss, while Disney + and streaming broadcasts continue to surge. More businesses have continued to take advantage of streaming services to interact with their audiences and interact with communities around them.
Social Distancing Responsible for streaming services Surge
- An article published by Forbes argues that the coronavirus pandemic, which has prompted social distance and stay at home initiatives, is responsible for the surge in internet streaming and usage figures. This was after placing a quarter of the world’s population in lockdown, in early 2020.
- The lockdown saw millions of people seek entertainment from online platforms, to avoid boredom. According to preliminary statistics, total internet hits surged between 50-70%, while streaming went up 12%, in March.
- In March, the interest in streaming subscription, especially to platforms with a broad catalog of movies and series online, went up significantly. For instance, internet searches related to streaming services surged to an average of 12.7%, in the U.S, compared to February.
Music Streaming Services
- Music streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, take up far less bandwidth compared to video streaming platforms such as HBO, also known as “bandwidth hogs.” The broadband networks were overwhelmed in the first few weeks when the novel virus broke out.
- Even as bandwidth hogs continued to surge, music streaming services continued to drop. Spotify, for instance, experienced a significant drop as the weekly number of streams in its top 200 dropped significantly between 6th and 13th March.
- The following week, Spotify continued to experience a decline, losing an extra 3.1%, down to 5,726 million streams, making it the lowest figure by Spotify in the U.S since the Christmas of 2019. The decrease in the streaming audio consumption can be blamed on the fact that people prefer listening to music when they are away from home working, driving/commuting, working out at the gyms or when in clubs and bars.
- When COVID-19 struck, more people were forced to stay at home, and social venues such as bars were closed, leading to a decrease in audio streaming consumption.
- Disney+ saw a spike in streaming services 43.5% advances in queries. Disney+ was pretty new in the U.S as it has only been available since November 2019, but saw a 35% subscription, making it the most downloaded streaming service in the U.S, followed closely by Netflix at 27%, according to reports.
- The coronavirus pandemic saw the exponential growth of Disney+ within a few months after it was launched, not only in the U.S but also in Europe, where it attracted a 14% spike in Britain alone. The spike was prompted by both annual and monthly subscriptions. Over five million paid in subscription could equal to over $160 million for Disney in terms of revenue.
- When Disney+ first launched in November 2019, it was estimated that it could attract at least 8 million subscribers in a month, and 18 million by close of 2020. However, the popularity of Disney+ was grossly underestimated as the streaming service attracted 10 million subscribers a day after it was launched, and 28.6 million subscribers within the first month of 2020. By March, the streaming service had 54.5 million subscribers.
- In the spirit of keeping people safe, informed, and supported, streaming broadcasts have provided a platform for content creators to connect with their target audience. Brands, journalists, and artists have continued to create engaging content and broadcast it via streaming platforms such as social media live streaming.
- Some of the most used social media live streaming platforms include Instagram Live and Facebook Live Stories. These platforms allow real-time broadcasts and are not demanding, in terms of a large technical array, even as they broadcast chats, concerts, and theater plays.
Businesses Using Streaming Services to Interact with Audiences
- In April, Facebook Business reported that more businesses were getting more aggressive with social media usage to interact with their audience, in light of COVID-19 outbreak disrupting businesses, not only in the U.S but around the world.
- Businesses have been forced to create engaging content to connect with their audience and inspire communities at large. Various businesses are using streaming broadcasts to stay in touch with their communities. Modo Yoga NYC, for instance, is offering live classes, while Old Town Books has been hosting a virtual book club. Canvas Studio Art is creating a virtual challenge for students, and The Cincinnati Zoo is bringing virtual safaris to children at home.