Co-Viewing Apps Attract Younger Viewers

New TV research from Hub found that streaming apps with co-viewing baked in, as well as third-party apps, prove popular with young audiences.

Hub Entertainment Research’s third annual “Evolution of the TV Set” report  found a quarter (23%) of viewers say they have watched via a co-viewing app or service this year, up from 2020 (20%) with 41% of viewers age 16-34 saying they’ve used a co-viewing app, compared with 23% of those age 35-54 and only 3% of those 55 or older.

Amazon Watch Party is the most commonly used co-viewing app (44%). The next most popular apps are two adapted from other uses: Discord, popular among gamers (28%), and Zoom, the web meeting service made ubiquitous by the pandemic (27%).

Those age 35-54 (57%) are more likely to use Amazon Watch Party (AWP) than co-viewers age 16-34 (37%), and men (52%) more likely to use AWP than women (31%).  Young co-viewers age 16-24 are less than half as likely to say they use AWP than adults 35-54 (24% vs. 57%). And one-third (33%) of those 16-24 use Discord, compared with one-quarter (26%) of older viewers age 35-74.

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“Co-viewing apps and services are becoming increasingly important, no doubt driven in part by recent pandemic experiences,” David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Content distributors and streaming services that help enable this behavior will increase their appeal to young adults overall, and in particular young men. This is an important consideration with the advent of fully or partially ad-supported streaming services and the desirability of these key demos to advertisers.”

Hub’s “Evolution of the TV Set 2021” report is a survey of 2,519 U.S. consumers. Interviews were conducted in late May and early June 2021.