Streaming Has Risen 85% in Wake of Coronavirus - Comic Years
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Streaming Has Risen 85% in Wake of Coronavirus

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BY April 1, 2020

With so many folks at home due to furloughs, shutdowns, and stay-at-home orders, it’s unsurprising that they’d turn to their TVs. With the vast array of choice streaming services give us, there’s always something to watch, after all. Still, the news that streaming has risen 85% over the same period last year is staggering.

What the Data Tells Us

Streaming Has Risen image via Nielsen

Over the first three weeks of March, as more and more people started staying home, they watched 400 billion–with a b–minutes of streaming TV. And that number only continued to climb. In the week of March 16, for instance, viewing increased 22% from the week before and over twice the number of minutes from that time last year.

As you can see from the chart, Netflix earns the highest number of eyeballs, closely followed by Youtube. Hulu and Amazon, respectively, bring up the rear. (“Others,” by the way, refers to all other streaming services, including Disney+.) We should also note that Nielsen only measures streaming views through televisions–not through mobile or other devices–so the rates are probably even higher than we know.

What We’re All Watching As Streaming Has Risen

Viewer numbers weren’t the only data that Nielsen released, though. They also shared info regarding what people were watching on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. (It is unclear whether they measure what people watch on other services, though.)

For example, around mid-March, the most popular streaming property was Spenser Confidential, Netflix’s Mark Wahlberg action movie. Netflix dominates the list, with Prime Video’s Hunters series its only entry (at number 7). Other popular Netflix shows and movies include comfort viewing like Criminal Minds–it’s comforting to me, The Office, NCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy. Viewers also tuned in for Netflix originals like Love is Blind, Altered Carbon, and On My Block. Again, that was mid-month. Because if they released stats this week, we already know what everyone is watching. It’s the Tiger King’s world and we’re all just fluffing our mullets in it.

Has your streaming viewing increased since the outbreak of COVID-19? Tell us what you’re watching while we’re waiting for the next episode of Grimm to load.

featured image via my own Netflix account (yes, my icon is from The Witcher)

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at

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