We've all seen the memes and we all get it: "I just finished Netflix."
When it comes to TV watching during a pandemic, it would appear that viewers share some similar habits. For instance, we now know that getting the news is important, and we've all watched so much TV, we just want to be surprised by something new by now.
At least that is true, according to some data released last week by Comcast, which found that Tennessee customers have increased their news consumption by 64% since the COVID-19 outbreak with the week of March 30 being the peak time. That is the week the reported number of global COVID-19 cases topped 1 million.
Many of us are also staying up a little later and watching a lot more TV. There has been a 40% upswing in people watching TV from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Apparently, some are also taking advantage of working at home with much shorter commute times and are sleeping in a little later. Viewership is down about 6% from 6-8 a.m.
If you think you are the only one uncertain of what day it is anymore, you are not alone. Typically, Comcast sees a marked difference in weekend and weekday viewing, but the lines have blurred a little bit in the last two months. Sunday is still the No. 1 day for viewing, but Monday is currently No. 2, outpacing Saturday.
Not having sports to watch could have something to do with that, but it could also come from the fact that we are now watching the equivalent of an extra days worth of content each week, according to the data. Tennessee Comcast viewers were watching about 57 hours a week per household and now viewers are watching about 66 hours per week.
And, you might think people are choosing lighter content, but the opposite is true. Dramas, which are typically the most popular genre in normal times, have increased their share of viewing from 27% to 30%, followed by news (29%), comedy (28%), reality (15%), and action and adventure (15%).
Has TV fatique set in? Maybe. Comcast has seen a slow decrease in DVR usage, in addtion to a huge uptick in Video on Demand usage (50%). People are also using their voice commands when available to discover new things to watch. Queries such as "what to watch" and "surprise me" are up 50%, which makes the above "I just finished Netflix" not all that unrealistic.
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Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.