Closing, Reopening, and Reclosing: 

A Patchwork of Streaming Behaviors

Advertisers have many questions about streaming and COVID-19. This post highlights patterns seen in the United States between March 1, 2020 and July 12, 2020. Data is not being presented as a leading indicator of any larger trends.

The evolving and varying policies around the closing, reopening, and reclosing of states is impacting weekly time spent at home and, subsequently, household streaming behaviors. Marketers –  particularly those who operate in multiple states – will need to consider adapting their advertising plans to meet these local shifts.

We previously reported on Roku usage patterns across the country between January and May 2020, when states were generally either “open” or “closed.” Today, we are examining a longer timeframe (March 1 through July 12, 2020) to provide insight into streaming behaviors and differences in states that are reversing their reopening policies, reopening for the first time, or have remained largely open since March.

Roku Internal Data

Three key patterns regarding Roku streaming hours have emerged:

  • States that are reversing their reopening measures saw increased weekly streaming at a rate 2x higher than the rest of the U.S.
  • States with relaxed policies have seen lower streaming growth
  • States with stay-at-home policies saw sustained streaming hours growth through May, when they began reopening.  

Let’s dig into some examples.  

Arizona has reversed its reopening, resulting in an increased streaming rate 94% higher than the rest of the U.S. (week of 7/5/20).

Roku Internal Data

In unrestricted states like North Dakota and Wyoming, Roku households have seen lower streaming hours growth. 

Roku Internal Data 

New Jersey and New York households maintained streaming hours increases, which dropped to near-baseline levels as reopening phases began.

Roku Internal Data

The data confirm that a patchwork of state policies is creating a patchwork of streaming behaviors. So, marketers need to remain agile and informed when planning or retooling their advertising plans as guidelines continue to evolve. 

Roku is working with marketers to rethink advertising in the current shifting climate. Some brands are leveraging dynamic advertising updates at the zip code level to offer the latest information on store hours and policies, no-contact delivery options, or digital coupons. Others are partnering with Roku to repurpose social creative into TV spots.

For future insights, stay connected with updates from Roku here.

Dan Robbins

VP, Ad Marketing & Partner Solutions