Post-Pandemic Media Consumption – Online Streaming Accelerates a New Content Experience

Post-Pandemic Media Consumption – Online Streaming Accelerates a New Content Experience

Consumers turned to online streaming when the COVID-19 pandemic caused stay-at-home orders to be cancelled and social plans to be cancelled. To lure viewers, TV/video streaming services offered exclusive content and low prices. By June 2020, 48% US adults had signed up for at least one streaming service. Multimodal consumer analysis reveals that this behavior isn’t a blip. The intense online media consumption is changing consumer expectations and reshaping content consumption.

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Our most recent research shows that the next 12-18 months will see:

  • Video and TV watching will not slow down.15 months after the pandemic began, 28% of US adults online claim they feel tired from watching too much TV and film. 21% also plan to reduce their time watching TV/video as more restrictions are lifted. It is tempting to think that as COVID-19 numbers decrease and public spaces reopen, consumers may trade their screen time for actual face time, and use those TV hours to hike the Appalachian Trail. Although most Americans will look for new entertainment options, only 41% of them enjoy TV/video more than before the pandemic. 42% rely on TV/video to distract from real-world stressors.
  • As online dominates, offline content consumption will decline.Between 2010-2020, the average offline TV/video viewing time dropped from 13 hours per week to 8.6. Online TV/video consumption increased from 1.7 to 7 hours during the same period. The pandemic’s joltThe shift to online was quickly acceleratedContent consumption. The US consumer is not showing any signs of slowing down with their online consumption. 46% of Americans report that they spend the same amount of time using their devices as last year, when the pandemic restrictions were in effect. 39% report that they spend even more time using their devices.
  • In the age of streaming services, movie theaters will be a niche pastime.39% of US consumers enjoyed the idea of streaming new movies and planned to watch them at home. 55% of Americans agree with the strong vaccine rollout and opening movie theaters. Customers who have recently subscribed to Netflix or Amazon Prime Video are more likely to keep their subscriptions. Younger consumers will continue to experiment with streaming platforms, even though they may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.
  • The public can stream online to enjoy the experience in the privacy of their closed social networks.Pandemic restrictions are being lifted, but 34% of US consumers, who are skew older, plan to continue to watch their favorite TV shows and movies while social distancing is not an option. 31% are keen to watch with family and friends. Only 14% of people prefer to watch TV/video outside. The pandemic blurred the lines between private and public social experiences, whether you have been watching virtual concerts with millions of others around the world or peering into the living rooms of your colleagues. Consumers are eager for the excitement of the movie premiere, and the pleasure of watching parties behind closed doors in curated community gatherings.


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