How COVID-19 Is Affecting Streaming - Perspective for Advertisers


Advertisers have many questions about streaming and COVID-19. This post highlights patterns seen in the United States in the last seven days, since much of the country has "sheltered at home." Data is not being presented as a leading indicator of any larger trends.

The spread of COVID-19 is affecting all of us. Like you, we're focused on keeping our loved ones, ourselves and our communities safe.

With most live sports canceled, news programming spiking, and households seeking family-friendly content, it is a unique moment for TV streaming - and for marketers. At times like this, television keeps us connected to the people, stories, and information we care about. Nearly one-third of television time is now streamed, according to Magna in 2019. In the last week, we've seen new ways that streaming is helping consumers—and brands—through these challenging times.

TV Time is All the Time
Primetime continues to be the most popular time to stream TV. But as routines evolve, streamers began watching more content during midday and less during the mornings and evenings. On Thursday, March 12, 2020 streaming peaked between 12pm PT and 6pm PT, demonstrating that brands can connect with viewers for more hours during the day.

Daily Streaming View
Thursday, March 12, 2020 vs. Week Prior

Hourly streaming growth

Streaming remains an opportunity to unwind
A key driver of streaming is escape, with 63% of Roku users saying they want to unwind in a survey conducted by Roku in May 2019. In fact in the last week, movie streaming on The Roku Channel has grown. Feel-good family movies and comedies like Annie, Are We There Yet, CHIPs and Smurfs 2 were all trending on The Roku Channel.

How we're helping brands
Streaming is mainstream as more viewers move away from traditional TV. Many brands are looking to help consumers in these difficult times and unique OTT capabilities continue to provide opportunities to engage consumers, for example:

- Reaching cord cutters and light TV viewers
- Driving results with advanced data and measurement
- Offering consumer value by sponsoring movies and shows

As you're reviewing your media strategy, ask your Roku team for deeper insights and opportunities for your brand. And most importantly, please stay safe. We are all in this together.

Stay connected with updates from Roku here.



Dan Robbins

VP, Ad Marketing & Partner Solutions