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By now, it is common knowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a big shift in online media consumption, in all forms. Businesses across the online entertainment space are spending a lot of effort to keep users engaged. Video streaming statistics show that the online streaming services market is projected to grow to $149.96 billion during 2020-2024 progressing at 18% during the period. 

Online consumers, particularly users of Disney + and Netflix are spending dramatically more time browsing these services. Platforms streaming video on demand continue to invest in creating their own movies and TV series to cater to their growing user bases as it is becoming increasingly important to understand the changing interest of viewers as the pandemic continues. 

As we already know, people are spending more time online during the Coronavirus pandemic. 55% of online video streamers said that they have been viewing videos while 47% of viewers spend more time watching broadcast TV. Whereas, over 42% of viewers said that they have been watching streaming services more during the pandemic. This data also indicates that people have discovered new interests during the pandemic. 

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The impact of Coronavirus pandemic on viewing habits

Online users seem to escape the continued anxiety around the Coronavirus outbreak by spending more time on online media and increasing the time they spend on digital devices and video streaming platforms. Although each streaming video on demand service attracts viewers looking for different types of content, many have been discovering new genres they never thought they would enjoy. We have gathered together a series of data insights across the video streaming spectrum to understand key patterns of how viewers are responding to the current changes. If you are looking for how to start a video streaming business, analyzing these insights can help you deliver high-quality viewing experiences for your viewers in times of pandemics like these.

Users like it when genres blend

In the initial days of the Coronavirus outbreak, Netflix dominated the video streaming landscape with its own show, Tiger King. The show covers documentary, crime, and cringe comedy which might have contributed to its success. It seems like Netflix users of today want to see more content in diverse categories. Most users prefer watching fantasy content, adventure, documentary, or drama. The Majority of Netflix viewers spend more time on the streaming platform exploring multiple genres. This implies that if you are building a VOD platform, it is important to integrate a diverse range of content in your streaming service to satisfy the varied interest of your audience. 

Need for better streaming quality

Sudden increase in the number of viewers can have drastic effects on the quality experience that viewers have. As the traffic increases, the streaming quality must increase as well. To understand how the traffic affects streaming quality, you must understand video streaming and how it works. Video streaming allows viewers to watch videos without actually downloading the media. With the use of content delivery networks, video providers must be able to improve streaming performance and reduce the buffering time according to the incoming traffic.

So how does online streaming work? Just like any other information that is broadcasted over the internet, video streams are broken down to small chunks of data packets. Each data chunk contains a small piece of the file that is sent to the video player of the client device’s browser that interprets the flow of the data. When compared to transmitting text-based content over the content, sending videos calls for a faster method of transmission which gives importance to reliability over speed. Hence the VOD platforms must have the right technology and tools to handle the traffic spikes in the VOD platform. 

What are people watching on VOD platforms?

As online viewers are spending more time at their home during the lockdown they would watch more content, and the type of content being streamed will also be altered. 

Let’s look into the type of content people are watching and the changing viewer behaviors during the current pandemic. 

News

The interest of viewers in live news content is increasing. As the whole world prepares for the pandemic, people tune in to video streaming platforms to tune into current news. The main topics of focus on VOD platforms are politics, world news, entertainment, technology, science and health, business, and sports. Most news streaming platforms cover multiple sides of sites thus giving the viewers balanced and fair coverage, which is what most viewers are looking for. 

Religious content

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, religions are embracing online communities and live streaming to connect with the congregation. While the transition was easy for congregations that had embraced digital tools and live streaming, others have struggled to adjust to the digital experience. However, the advanced modern technology and the ease of access to VOD platforms allow making this transition smooth for all. 

A decade ago, religious websites were not commonly used by people, but today considering the global lockdown and restrictions to access the church has caused a significant increase in the adoption of religious streaming services by people across the globe. Video streaming statistics show that about one out of five adults consumes Christian online media on a daily basis. 

Fitness

The COVID-19 pandemic has left millions of people around the world adjusting to life indoors. As fitness studios are shut down, most of them are shifting their classes online In response to the pandemic, a variety of video on demand services have emerged to ensure people can continue working out while social distancing. Popular fitness studios across the globe are offering their customers online services instead. If you are planning on how to start a video streaming business, you can consider building a fitness platform if you are already in the fitness industry. 

Here is the share of adults who watch more online exercise videos during social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

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Sports

The COVID-19 has changed how sports fans participants engage in sports events online. Some sports leagues have resumed with others to follow as the fans cannot gather in the galleries until the spread of Coronavirus is under control. Sports broadcasts are harnessing the power of technology to connect both online and offline fans to present the sport in a much more attractive and engaging way during and after the pandemic. 

Conclusion

The culture has gone virtual in the new norm of COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing which can be seen in the rise in usage of VOD platforms and Facebook and Instagram Lives. The worldwide lockdown has also led to a shift in viewer behavior, specifically in terms of demographics. However, these are testing times for both viewers and video providers alike. In unpredicted circumstances like these, the need for a backup plan, accurate, and reliable data is becoming more important than ever. 

Video streaming providers who can react quickly to the streaming needs of their viewers have the unique opportunity to connect with users as they adapt to new scenarios. If you are planning to start a video streaming business, now is the right time as the future of streaming is quite bright. If you are looking for any guidance to get started with your video streaming business, please get in touch with us, our expert team is here to guide you through the entire process.