Half of US states increased video streaming by 50% during quarantine: Which service is the best value?

How has quarantine affected our video and TV streaming behavior? Unsurprisingly, online platforms are seeing a huge uptick in streaming services.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

With Americans stuck at home during quarantine, TV time has soared, video streaming is up, and Netflix has benefited tremendously from the coronavirus lockdown.

San Francisco-based video platform Mux has noticed significant surges in some sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It streams hundreds of petabytes of video each month for its customers and has seen an upwell in fitness and health and e-learning video streams. There has also been a change in online events, religious streams, and health and science (including funerals) streaming.

Fitness and health demand has increased by 149% across the industry, and e-learning has increased by 218%. Conversely, the demand for sports streaming has decreased by 45% across the last few weeks.

New Jersey -- which has had a state-wide curfew since March 16, has increased its video delivery requirements by 82%, with Maryland and South Dakota at 80%, and Massachusetts at 78%.  Idaho has only seen video delivery increase by 30%, and South Carolina and Alabama saw a decrease in video delivery by 9%.

In general, we are spending a lot of time watching streaming channels. Cable alternative review site Kill the cable bill has noticed that the average Netflix user is streaming 3.2 hours per day during the shutdown. That comes out to about 9.6GB of streaming per day.

It found that US Netflix subscribers have been collectively streaming about 203 million hours per day during quarantine or 6.1 billion hours of content in the last month of the shutdown.

The average Netflix subscriber used about 288GB of data streaming per month during shutdown and used a total of about 18.3 million terabytes of data streaming in a month of quarantine. The future certainly looks good for Netflix. But is it the best value for money?

According to UK-based digital marketing agency Kaizen, which analyzed streaming services in April 2020, there is a large disparity between the top six streaming platforms.

It compared how many titles you could get for $1 on a standard subscription across Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video.

Half of US states increased video streaming by 50% during quarantine–but which service is the best value for money zdnet

The differences are huge. Prime video offers 1,153 titles, Hulu 508, and Netflix comes in third at 430 titles offered. At the other end of the scale, Apple TV+ offers just four titles for $1 on a standard subscription. We are streaming more video due to the COVID-19 outbreak too.

Half of US states increased video streaming by 50% during quarantine–but which service is the best value for money zdnet

The US has increased its streaming by 43%, Australia by 42%. Yet China has increased streaming by 77% and the Philippines has increased streaming by 79%

It is important to keep ourselves entertained as we practice social distancing and self-isolation.

The data shows that we have turned to our home entertainment platforms to keep us occupied as we wait and wait for the unseen danger to disappear and normal life to return.

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