NPD: Online Video Consumption, Engagement Leapt in Q2

Free, transactional and subscription video all grew significantly in the second quarter versus the same period in 2019, according to NPD Group data.

The market experienced “growth across just about every way you can consume video,” said NPD’s John Buffone during the online OTT.X summit Sept. 1. (The summit continues today; to register click here.)

Transactional VOD alone jumped by 57%, while subscription VOD grew 42%, Buffone reported.

Sales of TVs and streaming players (“largely driven by Roku”) also grew by double digits during stay-at-home orders, he said, while sales of DVD and Blu-ray players also saw a jump in sales “for a while.”

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The most frequently used services in April 2020 (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, CBS All Access, Amazon Prime Video) are gaining the most ground, NPD research found. Among that group, 87% of Netflix subs said they use the service at least weekly, with 80% saying the same of Hulu, 70% of Disney+, 68% of CBS All Access and 64% of Amazon Prime. During April, 48% of Netflix subscribers said they were using it more often, compared to 57% of Disney+ subs, 42% of Hulu subs, 40% of CBS All Access subs and 39% of Amazon Prime subs.

A third of SVOD users said that exclusive content made them subscribe or watch more because content was not available any other way, he noted.

NPD: Disc Sales Boosted During Pandemic in Areas With Less Population

Less-densely populated regions in the United States, often with lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and less stringent stay-at-home policies, drove up DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales growth since the middle of March, according to data from The NPD Group.

Since the middle of March, video disc sales in the populous and hardest hit areas of New England and the Mid-Atlantic census divisions were down 2% and 3%, respectively, compared with average weekly sales in January and February. Comparatively, disc unit sales in less-populated areas with fewer than a million residents increased nearly two times faster than more densely populated areas.

During the period, disc sales were up 3% in the South Atlantic section, 5% in East South Central, 8% in the East North Central, 9% in the West North Central, 11% in the West South Central, 11% in the Mountain, and 2% in the Pacific.

“It’s very encouraging to see so much DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales activity happening in these regions, demonstrating consumers’ appetite for quality entertainment,” said NPD analyst John Buffone.

Since shelter-at-home orders were first announced in the United States, there has been a 72% increase in the number of Netflix subscriber profiles that were used to stream video each week. Residents in the Tri-State region of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with some of the strictest shelter-at-home policies, spent significantly more time streaming on Netflix than the rest of the country, according to NPD.

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“While entertainment is not essential for survival, it’s still an essential way to stay sane, while people shelter at home,” Buffone said in a statement. “There have been notable streaming video preference shifts toward escapist titles and family programming that viewers are binging on to keep themselves entertained.”

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Using information from its Subscription Video Track service, NPD compared the Tri-State region with the remainder of the United States. While these two geographic areas experienced similar double-digit increases in the average number of weekly viewing profiles, there was a distinct difference in time spent streaming content from Netflix. In the Tri-State area, the average amount of time each Netflix profile was used to stream video on a weekly basis rose 37 percent after shelter-in-place orders were issued on March 21, which is 10 percentage points higher than the rest of the country.

NPD: DVD and Blu-ray Player Sales Jump in Pandemic

Consumers are getting physical.

Sales of DVD and Blu-ray players were both up 27% in unit sales for the week ended April 18 compared with same week a year ago, according to data from the NPD Group.

“Sales are up as consumers stay at home and look for multiple forms of entertainment,” said NPD analyst Stephen Baker. “These include DVDs and Blu-ray discs to entertain children while their parents are working, backup access devices if Internet access is challenged by streaming, or simply the consumers’ realization that they may need a physical disc player as an alternative to streaming and either they didn’t already have one or the one they do have needs an upgrade.”

Meanwhile, streaming player sales jumped 42%.

Overall, NPD-tracked U.S. Consumer Tech sales increased 23% year-over-year (29% week-over-week) during the week ended April 18 to nearly $1.8 billion. This topped the 21% increase tracked during the week ended March 21 sales spike.

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“We saw broad-based increases across almost all categories, unlike in March, when the work-from-home categories dominated,” Baker said.

TVs unit sales also jumped, exceeding 1.1 million units, the highest volume ever outside holiday, an 86% increase in units. Every TV size 32 inches and above had double-digit growth while 65 inch-and-above TVs were up 139%. Consumers also bought smaller sizes as 32-inch TVs, which declined by 15% over the first 10 weeks of 2020, increased by 40% over the last 5 weeks.

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Other strong categories included networking (70%), headphones (29%), printers (61%), DIY components (111%), PC microphones (147%), range extenders (173%), TV mounts (41%) and soundbars (69% in units).

More Than Half of Active Video Consumers Consume Some Digital Content

More than half (51%) of consumers who are active in buying or renting video content consume at least some digital content, which is 7 percentage points higher than last year, according to a study from The NPD Group.

Among all consumers who purchased or rented digital content, 18% are digital-only video consumers, which is 4 percentage points higher than last year, according to the report.

Still, among consumers who consume both physical and digital video content, 86% continued to purchase physical video discs in 2017.

“In the lifecycle of digital-video adoption, the early-adopter phase has finally given way to the majority phase,” said Ricardo Solar, SVP of video entertainment for NPD, in a statement. “Even so, among consumers who consume both digital and physical video content, the vast majority are still buying and renting physical discs.”

Growth in digital video purchases was driven mainly by heavy users who completed more than four transactions over the previous three months, NPD found. While these consumers represented just one-third of digital video purchasers, they comprised 69% of all transactions last year.

More than half of heavy digital video buyers purchased at Amazon and iTunes, and they over-index at Google Play and Vudu, as well, according to the report.

Digital video rental, or internet video-on-demand (iVOD), also grew last year, due to rental activity from both light and heavy users. Amazon was the retailer of choice for digital rentals, but heavy internet-video renters also over-indexed at iTunes, FandangoNow and Redbox On-Demand.

The research findings come from The NPD Group’s latest “Entertainment Trends in America” report, which is based on a consumer survey fielded from January to February 2018.

‘Moana’ Named Top-Selling Disc of 2017

NPD’s VideoScan DVD and Blu-ray sales tracking service has reported Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s Moana as the top-selling disc of 2017 in the United States.

The animated film outpaced No. 2 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, from Disney’s Lucasfilm division, according to VideoScan.

The top 10 titles on VideoScan’s list of 2017’s top-selling combined DVD and Blu-ray units were:

  1. Moana (Disney)
  2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney/Lucasfilm)
  3. Sing (Universal)
  4. Wonder Woman (Warner)
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney/Marvel)
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warner)
  7. Logan (Fox)
  8. Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony Pictures/Marvel)
  9. The Fate of the Furious (Universal)
  10. Doctor Strange (Disney/Marvel)

 

The VideoScan list differs slightly from the top 10 reported by tracking website The-Numbers.com, which reports unit sales and revenue based on estimates and industry surveys, though Moana was the top title on both lists.

The top 10, according to tracking from The-Numbers.com, were:

  1. Moana (Disney), 4.12 million units, $109.7 million
  2. Beauty and the Beast (Disney), 4.08 million units, $82.38 million
  3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney/Lucasfilm), 3.75 million units, $77 million
  4. Trolls (DreamWorks), 3 million units, $65.47 million
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney/Marvel), 2.85 million units, $57.3 million
  6. Sing (Universal), 2.81 million units, $57.42 million
  7. Wonder Woman (Warner), 2.61 million units, $68.77 million
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warner), 2.4 million units, $51.03 million
  9. Logan (Fox), 1.94 million units, $41.02 million
  10. The Fate of the Furious (Universal), 1.78 million units, $40.2 million