March Madness 2021 hoops streaming, social record | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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After a year’s absence due to Covid-19, the Big Dance is back on the floor and is hot to trot as the return of the March Madness college basketball extravaganza has seen records for streaming video and social media engagement being smashed off the court.
Conviva MarchMadness 23March2021
According to data from streaming media intelligence cloud platform provider Conviva, this year’s March Madness tournament is the most streamed ever with the first round of games already setting records with more than a billion minutes streamed across 32 games in two days.

Data for Conviva’s March Madness report was collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers annually. Streaming data presented is aggregated findings from six streaming publishers and vMVPDs live streaming March Madness in round one, on 19 and 20 March. The social data is said to be representative of all teams participating in March Madness and includes accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for round one.

Historically the first day of Round 1 sees the most viewership. This held true for this year with a total of teams tallying three million total cross-platform engagements over just two days in round one, with Wisconsin, Syracuse, and Illinois taking the top three spots for total cross-platform engagements.

The Conviva data also revealed what the company called a “striking” trend towards the big screen. Viewing on TVs was found to have increased significantly to 68% share of time spent streaming in round one from 48% share in the last tournament of 2019 and just 41% share in the opening days of 2018. While PC also lost share, the increase in TV came primarily at the expense of mobile viewing which has decreased to less than half the share it commanded during the previous March Madness. Conviva drew he conclusion that the pandemic-driven trend of in-home viewing and the overall, multi-year trend of increased streaming via televisions were undeniably significant factors in this shift.

Looking at individual online video platforms, Roku was, said the analysis, “unsurprisingly” leading the category with a commanding 40% share of big screen watch time. Amazon Fire TV captured second place with 26% share of viewing time, followed by Samsung TV with 10% and Apple TV with 8% share. LG TV and Xbox each took a 4% share with Chromecast picking up 3%. Vizio, Android TV and PlayStation lagged behind the field with under 2% share of March Madness viewing time.

The Conviva March Madness report also found engagements per social post rose an average of 164% for teams in round one as compared to the regular season. Oral Roberts saw 15x growth of engagements per post versus the regular season, followed by VCU which also netted quadruple-digit gains.