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Audiences climb for OTT and mobile video viewing

April 22, 2022 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

March marked a new milestone for streaming, as audiences spent nearly 30% of their total TV time watching over-the-top video (OTT) content. The Gauge, the monthly total TV and streaming snapshot from Nielsen found that, despite a 0.7% decrease in time spent streaming from February, viewing share across all streaming platforms was either flat or gained slightly in March.

In a further boon for the sector, Sensor Tower Usage Intelligence’s Q1 Data Digest found that the top mobile subscription video on demand (SVOD) apps in the United States saw an average of nearly 18 million monthly active users in Q1 2022, up 14% compared to Q1 2020 and 49% from Q1 2019.

The release of new streaming platforms and the race to add more content has made the space more competitive ever in Q1 2022. According to Sensor Tower, six different apps had more than 10% of the download market among top apps, and four apps had more than 10% of the monthly active users.

While market competition continues to intensify, Sensor Tower believes that enthusiasm around new launches and the strength of the top players continues to drive mobile usage. “The addition of these new content providers, as well as increased content offerings by existing platforms, have led to a consistent upward trend in average MAUs even after the expected spike in usage during their launch months,” according to the analysis. Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ led the cohort as the top three most-used mobile SVOD apps in the U.S. in 1Q22.

The Gauge reports that, as a whole, total television usage was down in March, decreasing by 4.2% versus February. Cable stood out as the only viewing category to see an increase in both share and volume, jumping 1.6 share points from last month. Cable news viewing was up 14% from February and accounted for 21% of the cable share, driven by continuing news coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Nielsen’s The Gauge: March 2022

Gaining a full share point over February, The Gauge finds that streaming services benefited from the transition away from the finale of professional football and the Olympics, which bolstered fall and winter TV viewing across broadcast networks. Sensor Tower also finds that content drives download and viewing. According to their report, several big events in Q1 2022 helped boost adoption and give certain apps an edge in this competitive space. HBO Max’s season two of “Euphoria” was incredibly popular, and Peacock TV and Paramount+ benefited from major U.S. . sporting events.

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