Q1 2020 Digital Video Trends

Social Media and News Services Propel Live Streaming During Coronavirus Pandemic

About This Report
As more people cut the cord, viewers are increasingly tuning in to live digital video services.

Executive Summary

This is the latest installment in an ongoing series of quarterly video overviews focusing on monetization, audience, platforms and content. On the radar this quarter: the latest in live digital video streaming and cord-cutting.

What’s the latest in cord-cutting?

The number of US pay TV households will decline from 80.5 million in 2020 to 69.6 million by 2023. As this happens, the number of cord-cutter and cord-never households will increase from 48.9 million this year to 61.5 million in 2023.

Which vMVPDs have the biggest audiences?

Hulu with Live TV will have the largest US audience among virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) with 9.2 million viewers in 2020. This year, Sling TV and YouTube TV will have 7.0 million and 6.2 million viewers, respectively.

What type of audience penetration does live digital video have?

We previously predicted that 48% of US digital video viewers will watch live content monthly this year. In February, we increased that figure to 56% because social media live streaming and live video news coverage grew faster than we previously anticipated.

Are people canceling their Netflix accounts?

Not yet. The time that people spend on Netflix each day is still growing. However, Netflix’s share of US daily video time peaked in 2019 at 27.0% and will decline to 25.7% by 2021, reflecting increased competition.

Which media company will spend the most on content this year?

The Walt Disney Co. will spend the most on content, according to multiple financial analysts.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report covers key events in the digital video industry based on data, trends and business activity in Q1 2020. It includes our first-ever forecasts for YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV viewers and new breakouts for YouTube demographics.

KEY STAT: In the US, the number of people who watch live video content will increase from 136.4 million in 2020 to 154.7 million in 2023.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Monetization
  3. Audience
  1. Platforms
  2. Content
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

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Ross Benes


Eric Haggstrom
Forecasting Analyst
Chuck Rawlings

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast