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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Disney+ Playing a Role in Streaming Shift

by Ray Keating
March 31, 2020

Yes, America is binge watching ... big time. The latest Nielsen data show that the number of streaming minutes during the first three weeks of March jumped by 85 percent versus the same time last year, according to Nielsen data as reported by Variety.

The week of March 16 saw a jump in streaming minutes by 22 percent compared to the previous week, and up by 2.2 times the same week last year.

However, Variety also pointed out: “Note that Nielsen is reporting just streaming to TVs: The analysis doesn’t measure mobile or PC video streaming, so the total amount of online video U.S. consumers are watching is even higher.” Indeed, it’s safe to assume much, much higher.

The Nielsen data shows that Netflix during the week of March 16 led the way with 29 percent of TV-based streaming, followed by YouTube at 20 percent, Hulu at 10 percent and Amazon at 9 percent. Disney+ is not broken out, being included in the “other” category, which gathered 31 percent of TV-based streaming. 

Regarding Disney+ and others, Variety noted: “But Nielsen pointed out the ‘other’ category has seen an ever bigger rise for the most recent week measured. That bucket includes Disney Plus (which is not reported out by Nielsen currently) and the research firm speculated that the Mouse House’s streaming service is seeing a significant lift from kids staying home from school — along with ‘Frozen 2’ dropping three months early on Disney Plus.”

In addition, again based on the Nielsen data, USA Today broke down streaming shares compared to a year earlier:

But while Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Hulu make up the vast majority of streaming activity on TV sets, Netflix and Hulu claimed a smaller share of that viewing than they did last year, the Nielsen data show.  Netflix claimed 29% of total streaming minutes for the week ended March 22, down from 36% from the equivalent week last year; Hulu accounted for 10%, down from 15%.  YouTube represented 20%, up from 19%.  And Amazon inched up to 9%, from 7%. And reflecting big growth in the number of new services, led by Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus, the “other” category jumped to 31% from 23%.

We look forward to seeing total streaming numbers covering all devices, expecting that Disney+ will have an even more significant role in further shifting the streaming audience. 

The Walt Disney Company reported that as of early February, Disney+ had 28.6 million subscribers.

Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com, and author of The Disney Planner 2020: The TO DO List Solution and the Pastor Stephen Grant novels. He can be contacted at  raykeating@keatingreports.com.

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