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Parks: Sports Most-Popular Live-Streamed Content

Parks Associates’ new video research May 9 reports that 43% of U.S. internet households have live-streamed online content in the past three months, with sporting events by far the most popular type of content.

Sixty-one percent of live-streaming users have recently watched a live sporting event online, while newscasts, the second most popular type of content captured only 36% of live-streamers.

“Consumers who subscribe to online sports services or those who subscribe to a premium pay-TV sports package are more likely to live-stream,” Paul Erickson, director of research at Dallas-based Parks, said in a statement. “Right now, sports content is key to drawing and keeping an engaged live-stream viewer base. Even with content that benefits from live consumption — such as news and concerts — significantly fewer consumers are livestreaming this content compared to sports. The sports audience is significantly more engaged in livestreaming as a whole.”

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Indeed, sports is the reason Amazon Prime Video is spending $1 billion annually to exclusively live-stream “NFL Thursday Night Football” with play caller Al Michaels and former ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Parks found that 78% of those who subscribe to an OTT sports service have live-streamed, as opposed to just one-quarter of those who do not subscribe to an OTT sports service. Consumers who regularly live-stream content are engaged users. For many, live-streamed content is their primary content consumption. Consumers who live-stream estimate that live online content comprises close to half of their total online video consumption. Among heavy live-stream viewers, on-demand content comprises just over one-quarter of their online video consumption.

“Offering live-streaming content is an opportunity for services to draw both the highly engaged heavy live-streaming audience and live-stream-centric older audiences,” Erickson said. “Consumers in the higher age brackets can be difficult to target, but live-streaming is one option that appeals to them, provided the provider delivers the right content.”

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