August 5, 2021
The pandemic was a boon for digital home entertainment channels as house-bound consumers flocked to in-home access to new release and catalog movies. That trend hasn’t diminished as the country emerges from the pandemic and deals with the growing Delta variant threat.
The number of consumers who bought or rented TV shows and movies at least once a week through their pay-TV provider doubled from Feb 2020 to June 2021, according to new data from Hub Entertainment Research.
The data cited comes from Hub’s “Predicting the Pandemic” study, conducted among 3,000 U.S. consumers age 14-74, who watch at least one hour of TV per week. The data were collected from June 22 to June 29, 2021.
In July 2020, only a fifth of survey respondents said they had paid to stream a movie that skipped the theater because of COVID. By June 2021, this number had risen to a third. Among those with a smart TV, almost 40% said they had bought a smart TV during the pandemic (i.e. during 2020 or 2021). And half of that percentage said they had bought a smart TV after vaccines became widely available in April 2021.
“Before the pandemic, more viewers were already paying a premium to watch new movies at home,” Jon Giegengack, principal at Hub and one of the study authors, said in a statement. “HBO Max and Disney poured more gas on the fire by redefining the release window for new movies. Add in the fact that many upgraded their home viewing tech during the pandemic, and we have perfect conditions for driving consumption of PVOD even after anxiety about theaters has faded completely.”