Most Major Streaming Services Saw Viewership Increase in May, Study Says

man using tablet to watch tv

Most of the top big names in streaming services have all seen an increase in viewership numbers during May due to COVID-19. That’s according to Comscore’s new Total Home Panel data which released the numbers on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney,+ and YouTube.

Part of Disney+‘s recent success is attributed to the streaming service providing early on-demand access to recent movies like Onward. The animated film became available to stream just one month after hitting theaters. Disney+’s engagement grew from 4.3% on February 3, 2020 to 4.8% on May 11. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix both had had a 1.5% increase.

However, not all of the household name streamers did as well. YouTube had a slight decrease from 21.7% to 21.6%, while Hulu saw a sharp decline in viewers, seeing a 2.9% fall in engagement from 17.6% to 14.7%. It’s not really clear why Hulu and YouTube’s numbers fell rather than increased during a time when millions of people were stuck at home with nothing much to do other than stream videos. One idea is that it might have to do with the two streamer’s content draw relying on live events, sports, and TV shows that were postponed.

Comscore’s data report showed average household data usage was up 33% during the first week and a half of May 2020 compared to the first week and a half of May 2019. March and April also saw increased data consumption since last year. Since April 20, usage has slowly tapered off now that states are lifting stay at home orders and easing up on some restrictions. With more people going back to work and participating in social gatherings, data consumption and streaming hours are on the decline.

During the peak usage weeks, Smart TV usage was up 60%, with mobile phone usage at a 47% increase since last year at the same time.

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