“Play” at home: Nielsen numbers show 85% jump in TV streaming


iStock/simpson33(LOS ANGELES) — In what will come as a shock to no one, new Neilsen numbers show that Americans who are sheltering from the coronavirus pandemic are streaming like never before. 

In fact, the data quoted by Variety show an 85% jump in Americans streaming TV programming over the first three weeks of March compared to last year — some 400 billion estimated minutes. 

During the week of March 16 alone, viewers watched about 156.1 billion minutes of streaming content on TV, Variety said, up 22% from the week prior and more than two times as much as they watched last year in that same period. 

While the Nielsen numbers are jaw-dropping — or perhaps butt-numbing — they’re just a fraction of how much content people are really streaming. The numbers refer only to people streaming to their TVs, and don’t count people watching video content on mobile devices, PCs and game consoles. 

Out of all the streaming vehicles, Netflix enjoys 23% of streaming to TVs for the week of March 16, Variety notes.  YouTube follows at 20%, Hulu with 10% of TV streaming, and Amazon Prime Video, 9%. 

However, the Neilsen numbers also rank an “other” category at 31%.  In that space, Disney+ seems to have boomed, no doubt helped by homebound kids and decisions to move Frozen 2 and other films to the service sooner than initially anticipated.

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