As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we may be witnessing the start of a huge transformation: the transition from television as we have known it for so many years to the age of streaming.
And that fact has become incredibly clear according to new data from the Nielsen TV rankings. According to Nielsen, the time spent on streaming platforms during the first full week of March increased by 34% between March 16 and 22, going from 116.4 billion watched minutes to 156.1 billion minutes. This increase has exceeded the 25% gains of television over the same period.
Those 156.1 billion minutes of content viewed on streaming devices? This is more than double what the week of March 16 to 22 accumulated in 2019.
But here’s maybe the craziest part: Spenser Confidential, the Netflix movie with Mark Wahlberg, was the most popular program this week in mid-March, attracting 1.25 billion minutes of viewing time.
While sitcoms and competitive programming have generally dominated Nielsen’s television audiences, streaming statistics show that multi-million dollar productions starring Hollywood’s biggest stars can replace everything on TV that night. Spenser Confidential is a program exclusively available to Netflix subscribers, and is ready to be watched at any time.
Netflix easily won the largest share of the pie in March, holding 29% of that 156.1 billion minutes with a total of 45.4 billion minutes. YouTube came in second with 20% of streaming usage, followed by Hulu at 10% and Amazon at 9%.
All other competitors, including Disney + and CBS All Access, held 31% of the total. These outside players – who recorded gains of 23% over this period last year – have significantly eroded the dominance share of Netflix and Hulu.
Netflix had five other original programs making their way into the top ten for streaming, while Office came in second place 1.23 billion minutes broadcast.
In March, households capable of broadcasting spent 22% on streaming platforms, compared to 14% in March 2019.