Coronavirus Lockdown & Its Impact On The Video Streaming Industry Introduction
WHO recently declared the ever-spreading coronavirus as a pandemic. This pandemic has reached all the major countries across the globe and has started to impact all spheres of human life. It has disrupted all the recognized industries and business models on which so much of lives rely on consciously and subconsciously. These past few days have given us a clear picture of what to expect from this major crisis that is upon us. It won’t take a mastermind to guess that most of the industries like aviation, hospitals, automobiles, sports are going to take a severe hit in this period. Major television broadcasters and video streaming service providers can be labeled as the one affected the most. The spread of coronavirus has resulted in a premature cancellation of major sports leagues such as basketball’s NBA, N.H.L, M.L.S, Football’s major leagues such as English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Champions League, Europa League. Euro 2020 and Copa America has also been postponed until 2021. These cancellations and postponements are directly affecting the revenue generated by live sports broadcasters around the world. A large audience is involved in sports, and because of no sports activities, this audience has shifted to other entertainment platforms. And this directly has provided some industries a chance to attract this audience to spike their business in this period. Now let us take a look at how this unfortunate time period is providing video streaming industry a golden opportunity to attract a large mass of spectators.
Huge increase in the number of Video Streaming App downloads due to COVID-19 lockdown
Governments of all the Corona affected countries have announced a large period of lockdowns to contain the spread of this deadly virus. Lockdowns force the residents to stay at home and restrict themselves to minimum outdoor activities. Lockdowns have caused all the major companies to assign ‘work from home’ to their employees, business shops are closed, so the owners are staying at home sitting on their couch, scrolling through their phones. Since no outdoor activity can be afforded, people are finding ways to kill their time. IT sector employees have got their projects to be completed, but people from other fields of work are trying to put the internet to its best use. In their quest to kill off time, people are downloading various video streaming apps to try something different. The app that is making rounds in the market is the Houseparty app, which allows people to throw parties at their friends through their app. You can play games like Heads up, Trivia, Quick Draw within the app. Disney Plus is another app that is being downloaded a lot by the audience. Some meditation apps, games apps, book reading apps, artwork apps are some other areas of downloads currently in trend. A new business that has launched its app very recently and has something interesting to offer the customers, then this lockdown period might prove out to be a boon for the business.
Boost in User Engagement with Video Streaming Apps
Before this lockdown, most of the people out there were busy in their daily monotonous lives. A person running a business, working as an employee in a private firm, government official all had their tasks on hand, which left them with no time to have fun. One thing this pandemic has done to the people is that it has offered time to all the working class to have fun with themselves and enjoy their hobbies. People are spending time with their families, but even after doing that, they are left with a huge portion of the day, and these leftover hours are causing civilians to engage more and more in online activities. As we all familiar with the fact that a high percentage of people love watching movies and tv series in their leisure time. Earlier because of their tight schedule, they were not able to enjoy their favorite movies and tv shows, but the lockdown has opened them a window of opportunity to finish their bucket list of movies and tv series. Now here we are talking about millions and millions of people and because such a huge number all of a sudden has decided to binge-watch the movies recommended to them by their friends, various downloading and live-streaming apps has seen a huge surge in their customer engagement. People are bombarding their platforms like never before. Of course, there is a jump in their revenues, but the sudden inflow of customers has caused these platforms to work harder to manage the smooth sailing of their app.
Major Video Streaming Apps Ceased HD Content Streaming due to COVID-19 Lockdown
As we discussed in the above point, that load is increasing on the various streaming platforms day by day because of a huge surge in their daily viewers. But they are intertwined with telecom companies that provide data to the viewers, which allows them to perform their daily internet schedule. Various phone companies have asked the telecom department and home ministry to have a say in current over the top video streaming services, which has increased multi-folds due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. These services include Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and some other platforms. Alone these video streaming platforms cannot be held responsible for this huge load on telecom companies as a large volume of IT workforce are pursuing their tasks by staying at home. Due to working from home, they stay connected to their devices through phone hotspots that consume their phone sim data. The telecom companies have finally had a word with video streaming service providers to temporarily switch from HD (hi-definition) to SD (standard definition). Telcos also asked them to dispense with heavy bandwidth-consuming advertisements & pop-ups to cut telecom companies some slack on the network load. According to telcos, this will allow video streaming platforms to carry on with their suitable level of service at appropriate bit-rates along with easing off a lot of pressure from mobile networks.
Almost all the major video streaming companies like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Voot, MX player, ZEE5 have suggested that they already have taken the required necessary steps to curb the streaming loads on telecom partners. They explained that this sudden spike in load is due to the work from home clause followed in every other household. MX Player COO, Vivek Jain, assured the telecom partners that they have already taken measures to provide their viewers with the best possible experience along with conversing bandwidth during this lockdown.
ZEE5 CEO also emphasized on the steps taken by them to reduce the load on telecom companies. In their words, ZEE5 has ensured that the existing bandwidth does not get stretched while also not compromising on the quality of content provided to the viewers.
Revenue of Video Streaming Apps Rising Due to Increase in Movie & TV Series Viewers
With the cancellation of sports events and the production of TV shows, the audience has to turn to something to keep them entertained during this quarantine phase. With more and more people staying indoors, it has led to a huge surge in TV and streaming viewership. People are taking subscriptions of various entertainment, providing platforms to keep themselves engaged. Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video are some of the video streaming platforms that are topping the list of a number of subscriptions from people across the globe. There is a sea of movies, and tv shows out there on the web to binge-watch. Hectic schedules of people’s monotonous lives didn’t allow them to have a go at them before quarantine, but right now, they have a lot of free time to kill.
According to a recent data study, it was shown that during this period of lockdown, the percentage of video content seen by per household could quickly shoot up by 60%. This report later drew conclusions from two previous crises. During the 2016 blizzard in New York, the percentage of TV viewing in that area increased by 45%. On the other hand, video streaming platforms saw a spike of 61% in their tv shows and movies watching as people were stuck at home all day.
A conclusion can be drawn from the impact of hurricane Harvey in Houston in 2017, during which movies and TV shows viewing increased by a total of 56%.
As we all know that the current crisis upon us is not going to end any time soon, and that is certainly going to cause a lot of movies and tv shows viewing by home stuck people. This, in turn, will increase the cash revenue generated by various video streaming platforms.
Loss of Money As Sports Events Postponed
Coronavirus pandemic is causing an economic crisis all over the world. The world’s economy has come to a standstill, and industries are taking losses left, right, and center. A lot of major industries are taking a hit, and their losses can only be differentiated by the magnitude of the loss. The worst affected is the sports arena. Sports are an essential part of almost every other person. People devote a lot of time and money to their favorite sport. A lot of revenue and sources of income are associated with a particular sport. Let’s take football, for example, the top three sources that generate revenue for football are ticket sales, broadcasting rights, and merchandising. When the coronavirus first spread out, people associated with major football leagues tried to carry on with matches by holding matches behind closed doors. They were ready to take a hit on their ticket sales because they still were earning from their broadcasting rights and merchandising. But when the matter becomes serious, all the top professional sports leagues were halted, and this caused the sports associated people to take a hit on all three fronts of ticket sales, broadcasting rights, and merchandising. Sports broadcasters earn a lot from their permanent audience, which consistently watches live telecasts of sports, but since no live telecast of matches is there, broadcasters have lost their millions of viewers. The sports industry will desperately be hoping for things to get better in order to become the epicenter of sports lovers once again.
The popularity of Video Streaming Platforms Call in For a Lot of Investment
Over the top streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video has become very popular for the last 4-5 years. They provide all the popular movies and tv shows in one place, which provide their viewers to binge-watch their favorites day in day out. The popularity of these streaming platforms is going to go through the roof during this period of quarantine, and this will provide a gateway of opportunity for major investors to cash in. Amazon announced in its first quarter of 2019 filings that it had spent $1.7 Bn on video and music content. The accumulated cost of released content in the first quarter was $4.2 Bn for video and music. In the first quarter of 2019, startups associated with the digital media and entertainment industry received $167 Mn of total funding. On would say that these numbers look quite low in comparison to other sectors, but the rate of increase in funding in this sector has been 295%.
Data shared above will give you an idea about how much investment was made in the streaming industry at the starting of 2019. Now since the streaming industry is in a lot of demand these days because of the coronavirus lockdown, we can expect numbers of these investments to go even higher. Streaming platforms have become the epicenter of people’s entertainment these days, and platforms owners are not going to let this golden opportunity to increase their revenues slip right out of their hands.
The current pandemic going by the name of COVID-19 is going to have a lot of negative effects on the economic conditions of various major industries across the world, but surprisingly, it provides an opportunity to the video streaming platforms to spike their revenues and fame. The above-mentioned reasons are proof that the video streaming industries are not going to get affected by the current crisis, but in fact, they are going to gain.