76 Percent of U.S. Broadband Homes are OTT Subs


A survey by Parks Associates has found that 76 percent of U.S. broadband homes subscribe to an OTT service, reflecting a gain of 6 million households since Q1 2019.

The study, which was conducted between March 8 and April 3, also found increasing usage of VMVPDs (YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, etc.), with online pay-TV services being used in 12 percent of U.S. broadband homes.

“We are closely tracking shifts in technology use at home, as shelter-in-place orders have continued as a result of COVID-19,” said Steve Nason, research director at Parks Associates. “Consumers are experimenting with watching video on different services and different devices. We anticipate a number of changes to occur, including higher consumption combined with reduced spending per month on services, which could boost ad-based services, as well as shifts in what content consumers are watching.”

Parks also cited research from Reelgood, an aggregator for streaming sources, about what people are watching amid COVID-19 stay-at-home measures. Between March 16 and April 26, the most popular shows were all on Netflix: Ozark, Money Heist and Tiger King. The most popular movie was Parasite, which is streaming on Hulu. By genre, meanwhile, viewership of comedy, faith and spirituality and kids’ content was up, while horror, war and crime declined. The drama Doctor Foster and the movie The Silver Linings Playbook had the most significant jumps in popularity from pre-COVID to post-COVID.

“One of the biggest shifts—and opportunities—that we’re noticing is the massive spike in children’s content available to stream,” said Catharine Burhenne, head of marketing at Reelgood. “The entertainment businesses who thrive during the COVID and post-COVID eras will be the ones who can cater their offerings to accommodate the huge appetite for streaming kids content. Tubi’s launch of their app Tubi Kids is an example of businesses capitalizing on this opportunity.”