Self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has pushed people to depend on streaming platforms for their entertainment. People are also working, studying and doing just about anything on the internet in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This, however, might be a cause for concern.
WarnerMedia peeked a look into how many of its subscribers are spending more time streaming over the past couple of weeks. While the TV industry saw a 20% increase last week compared to the month prior, the percentage of people binge-watching series on HBO Now has increased by 65%. On the other hand, movie-watching is up 70% on the platform.
However, WarnerMedia is not the only company who has seen a surge in streaming activity. Netflix, Twitch (up 31%), Hulu and almost all streaming platforms reporting a huge increase in viewership. Disney+ has also seen a massive increase in subscription signups. YouTube Gaming streams have seen a 15% increase as well.
This isn’t, however, only one platform’s moment. This is everyone’s moment. If anyone had any doubts about what streaming platforms can do, this is a clear depiction of what self-isolation can do to people.
However, all this streaming is definitely going to have an effect on internet infrastructure.
Even though people are ready for an online-only world, broadband networks might not be. On the other hand, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, YouTube and almost all other platforms have agreed to reduce streaming qualities in Europe. According to the companies, they can do this all over the world, should the need arise.
The strain on broadband services isn’t just restricted to problematic streaming. Communication services can collapse, considering the number of people who are working and studying from home at the moment. Additionally, a large number of people are also using video conferencing to talk to their loved ones, as a means to reduce boredom.
Although streaming does put a lot of strain on bandwidth in general, yet it never created a problem before as people did not all stream together at the same time. However, times have changed – everyone is trying to do everything on the internet, all at the same time. With this in mind, streaming services will take a hit if it disrupts people’s day-to-day essential activities.
Add to this, depending on when health officials declare it safe to leave the house, there is a chance streamers like Quibi, HBO Max and Peacock will also launch in this mess. Although this means that they have a better shot at making it big on release, however, it also means that they will be competing for a piece of the same bandwidth.
At a critical point as this, every other industry has taken a big hit – apart from the steaming industry. People, in an attempt to reduce their boredom, are streaming more than ever. This means that these companies will be just fine – as long as the internet’s infrastructure can hold up.