• Peter Hammer

Total Video Viewing – it’s a rising tide for all ships!

Updated: Jun 10

New Australian diary study reports a 20% month-on-month increase in all long-form video viewing in March 2020, including Subscription Video-On-Demand and even DVD!

The Marketing Scientist Group has today released some early results from its Total Video Consumption report for Australia, finding that total viewing minutes increased by 20% in late March 2020, when compared to the prior month. Importantly, this report captures viewing from all key video platforms, including Subscription Video-On-Demand, DVD and Video Rental/Download Services, which do not have the comprehensive measurement that is available for TV.

The data is sourced from an independent, large-scale diary study collating responses from 1,354 Australians aged 18 to 69 comparing the last week of February with the last week of March 2020. The results showed that claimed viewing for both Broadcast TV (including BVOD) and Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) services had increased by 19% month-on-month in video viewing time for March 2020. It also revealed that all other forms of long-form video consumption had increased by 24%, which includes data for YouTube, Video Rental/Download Services (e.g. iTunes, Google Play Movies) and DVDs. In terms of the types of content being viewed, News (+51%) and Movies (+14%) showed notable month-on-month increases in their total video viewing share, while Sport (-38%) consumption was predictably lower across all video platforms, due to the suspension of games for key sporting codes.

Peter Hammer, Managing Director of the Marketing Scientist Group and lead researcher on the project, said “we’ve seen in many markets around the world that live TV has seen a strong boost in viewing, as people consume more up-to-date news on the health crisis, as well as primetime reality/entertainment programming. What this report also shows is that Australians are increasing their consumption on many other platforms too, with a large number of viewers turning to subscription video services like Netflix and Stan to watch movies and TV shows, or by re-watching some of their favourites in their DVD collections. It’s a rising tide for all ships!”

In terms of average viewing time across each day, daytime viewing (12:00 – 17:59) saw the largest month-on-month increase (+34%), while primetime/evening (18:00 – 23:59) viewing also made large gains (+18%) in viewing time. For the March 2020 wave, participants also reported the time spent at home for the viewing day. The results showed that those who reported spending the entire day at home, had almost twice the average video viewing time (+91%) when compared to those who left the home for 7 to 8 hours, for work or other activities.


“There’s a clear relationship between time at home, and viewing time”, Hammer said, “and so we expect this increased video consumption to continue as we all spend more time at home during this health crisis. What’s more, other data collected in March 2020 suggests that the top reason for participants leaving the house was to go shopping, and leveraging advertising on these video platforms will still be relevant for many product categories, especially groceries.”

Almost a third of respondents (31%) claimed they were planning to subscribe to a new Subscription Video-On-Demand service within the next month, with 62% of these participants planning to add it on top of what they already had. While Netflix and Stan retained the highest household penetration for the March period, the report reveals that Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video attracted the largest interest amongst those planning to subscribe in the near future.

The full Total Video Consumption report for Q1, 2020 is due to be released to the market in June. More information is available here.

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