Nielsen: US streaming surge in 2020 reflects permanently altered landscape | Media Analysis | Business
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With what it said were “dramatic” impacts to traditional staples like live sports, and an “anxiety-inducing hyper news cycle”, 2020 was a truly transitional year for streaming video according to a study from Nielsen, with the changing trends leaving an indelible mark on the video industry as a whole.
OZARK 201 Unit 06149R 18Jan2021
The analyst and measurement firm noted that the massive spikes in media usage that sparked streaming enablement into near ubiquity weren’t unexpected given countrywide lockdowns, the aftermath reflected a permanently altered media landscape which began to coalesce in the spring summer period of the year. The result of these changes has seen video streaming accounting for a larger share of overall media consumption than in previous years.

Assessing the key individual content pieces for the year, Nielsen said streaming platforms have become “video wellsprings” for content-hungry consumers, with originals like Ozark (pictured), The Boys and The Mandalorian grabbing much of the spotlight. It noted that during 2020 consumers binged nearly 30.5 billion minutes of Ozark across a total of 28 episodes. Consumers watched more than 57 billion minutes of The Office, which ended its run on Netflix in December, but that viewing covered 192 episodes.

Yet, while original programmes were at the spearhead of the streaming surge, shepherding new subscribers to both established and nascent platforms the analyst observed that the most-viewed pieces of content on streaming platforms overall weren’t simply the original ones: They were the older shows that first found success on more traditional channels. It said: “While original content can generate buzz and draw in audiences, library content is what viewers find comfort in, watch casually and often return to. Simply put, they’re known quantities. They’re the shows that viewers will turn to, as they already have established connections with audiences and provide easy viewing, especially when the hunt for new content to binge may be daunting.”

The analysis also found that outside of episodic programming, the trends were much different, as eight of the top 10 films in terms of minutes watched on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms in 2020 were kids’ titles. This was said to have helped land titles like Frozen II, Moana, Secret Life of Pets 2 and Onward into this year’s top 10 list, with each attracting viewership of between 8.3 billion and nearly 15 billion minutes each. at home when they would traditionally be away at school.

Overall, Nielsen concluded that in 2020 streaming platforms offered a lifeline for movies that could no longer be released through a traditional means and in turn made films more easily accessible to a larger audience. It believes that after initially disrupting the television space, streaming services are enabling new options for the film industry as well.