Total U.S. streaming minutes climbed rapidly in a key two-and-a-half-month period around COVID-19.
During a 10-week span -- from March 30 to June 7 -- total streaming minutes were up 85% year-over-year, according to Nielsen data from MoffettNathanson research analysis -- to 1.48 billion minutes. The total was 799 million for the same period a year ago.
At the end of March/early April period, during the initial COVID-19 surge, there was a 131% rise in streaming minutes versus the same period a year ago. Although they drifted lower by the first week in June, streaming minutes were still up 50% year-over-year.
All major streaming platforms -- free or subscription -- witnessed gains: Netflix, 76% higher; YouTube, up 96%; Hulu, 68%; Amazon, 106%; and other platforms, 94%. The “others” category include Disney+, CBS All Access, and AVOD services .
Netflix still commands the largest share of streaming minutes -- although it has dipped from a year ago. The big SVOD service had a 33% share (35% a year ago) compared to YouTube at 19% (vs. 18% for the same period a year ago); Hulu, now 11% (12% in 2019); Amazon, at 8% (7%), and other platforms at 28% (27%).