Global Time Spent Streaming Spiked 36% in Q1 | Chart

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Time Spent Streaming Spiked 36% Globally in Q1 | Chart

You probably already knew from experience that “Netflix and chill” became even more popular over the last year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. New data from streaming analytics firm Conviva highlights just how much streaming has spiked since early 2020.

The key takeaway from Conviva’s latest “State of Streaming” report for Q1 2021: Global time spent streaming surged 36% from the same time last year. And most of those gains can be attributed to emerging streaming markets outside the U.S., where the 18% year-over-year spike was relatively tame by comparison.

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Here’s a look at the increase in time spent streaming by market, per Conviva’s report:

The biggest jump in time spent streaming was seen in South America, where streaming spiked 240% in Q1 2021; time spent streaming more than doubled in Europe and Africa, too, during the first three months of the year.

Conviva’s report said its data is “primarily collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology currently embedded in 3.3 billion streaming video applications, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year with 1.8 trillion realtime transactions per day across more than 180 countries.”

While Conviva doesn’t report how many minutes or hours this translates to on a daily basis, other sources help fill in the picture a bit. Roku, which is set to report its Q1 performance on May 6, reported earlier this year that its accounts streamed an average of 3.8 hours of content per day between October and December. Considering Roku is the dominant streaming platform in the U.S., accounting for 37% of all streaming on TV screens, per Conviva’s report, that gives us a ballpark idea of the average time spent streaming in North America during Q1.

How people stream their content also stood out in Conviva’s report. Paula Winkel, Conviva’s director of marketing, told TheWrap the “TV continues to be the focal point of folks’ homes” in the U.S., where 81% of all streaming is done on a TV screen; 13% comes from desktop streaming, 11% comes from watching on mobile phones, and 8% was attributed to streaming on tablets.

No other country came close to having so much of its streaming tied to TVs. In South America, TVs accounted for 63% of streaming and mobile devices accounted for 19%, while in Africa, 56% of streaming was done on TVs and 18% was done on cell phones. Asia was the market with the highest percentage of streaming stemming from mobile devices (39%), and it was also the only market where less than half of streaming was done on TVs (45%).

One last streaming trend that stood out: Live events are becoming less and less important to viewers. Conviva found 76% of streaming time was spent on on-demand programming — meaning content they selected on a streaming service, paid to watch, or content they recorded and watched later. Only 24% of streaming time was spent on live events, down 4% from Q1 2020.

“We thought live [TV] might bounce-back as live sports came back, but we’re not seeing that major resurgence that I think we thought might happen in 2021,” Winkel said.

Sean Burch