"Suddenly we have this renewed sense of relevancy, because people are spending time at home and they want to feel protected," said VP of marketing Shannon Hendrickson.If it seems like you’re watching a lot more television amid the coronavirus pandemic, you aren’t alone. According to data just released from Comcast, people are actually watching so much more content on TV that weekday and weekend viewing habits are now blurring together.
That’s just the beginning of what the TV watching trends during COVID-19 are showing, including that households are viewing a full workday’s worth of content more each week. Here’s a look at the data from Comcast showing new behaviors and shifts in daily viewing patters during this pandemic.
MORE WEEKLY CONTENT
According to the data from Comcast, the average household is watching TV at least 8 hours more per week. That’s a full workday more. In early March 2020, the average household watched 57 hours of content per week. That’s now up to 66 hours a week.
The data shows a 40% increase in viewing during the late-night hours. Comcast says it has seen the largest increases happening between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. On top of that, there’s been a 6% decrease between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., indicating people are staying up later and sleeping in longer.
A LOT MORE NEWS CONSUMPTION
People are staying more informed during the pandemic. Comcast data shows a whopping 64% increase in consumption of news programming since the start of COVID-19. News viewing reached a peak the week of March 30. Since that week, Comcast has found consumption has leveled off to about a 30% increase.
DAYS BLURRING TOGETHER
You aren’t the only one who sometimes doesn’t know what day it is. Comcast says normally, people are watching a lot more programming on weekends. That’s also when they tend to take a break from their DVRs and watch more on demand content, including renting and buying movies. Since the start of COVID-19, the data shows weekdays are pretty much at the same viewing levels and trends as weekends. In fact, over the last two weeks, Comcast data finds Monday has become a more popular day to watch TV than Saturday.
COMEDIES, DRAMAS, REALITY TV, ACTION & ADVENTURE
You might think that during a crisis, viewers would prefer lighter content. However, the data from Comcast shows people are actually watching the same types of content they normally would, they are just watching more of it.Dramas are typically the most popular genre when times are normal, followed by news, comedy, reality and action and adventure. During COVID-19, viewing of dramas has increased 30%, news 29%, comedies 18%, reality shows 15% and action and adventure 15%.
VIDEO ON DEMAND
Comcast says its data is showing a slow decrease in DVR usage, while at the same time there’s a 50% increase in video on demand usage. Comcast also found there’s been a double-digit growth for discovery-related voice commands such as “what to watch” and “surprise me." This suggests that people have watched more of the shows on their lists and are looking for something new.