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TV Tech
TV Tech
Tom Butts

Viewers Increase Their Appetite for VOD During Thanksgiving Break


Despite a steady stream of live college football and NFL games during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday, American viewers clearly favored on-demand streaming when it came to their TV choices.

That’s according to NPAW, which compared the streaming numbers for the holiday period (Nov. 23-26) against the seasonal average (Nov. 1-22). The analysis revealed a drop in unique subscribers for VoD and Linear TV content (3% and 2% respectively). This trend held true across the four days (Thursday-Sunday), with Black Friday experiencing the most substantial decrease for both types of streaming content.

By themselves, these numbers would suggest a generalized decrease in streaming usage, as Americans spent time eating and snagging Black Friday deals, according to the researcher. However, a closer look at the Average Effective Playtime numbers — the minutes each user spends watching content, deducing ads, interruptions, etc. — reveals a significant increase in VoD consumption per user (+17%).

In fact, the Average Effective Playtime for VoD exceeded the seasonal average on each day of the holiday period, with Thanksgiving and Black Friday registering the most substantial increases (21% and 20% respectively). Conversely, those numbers decreased for Linear TV content across all days, particularly on Thanksgiving (-12%).

NPAW made several conclusions about the numbers: The first is that, in terms of time commitment, American consumers demonstrated a strong preference for VoD content over Linear TV. Secondly, while slightly fewer unique subscribers streamed video content, those who did watch VoD did so for substantially longer periods than usual, particularly on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

One potential explanation for these trends could be the communal spirit that characterizes Thanksgiving, with groups of people gathering under one roof, sharing the viewing of a movie or show on-demand using a friend’s or relative’s account, according to NPAW. 

“Those opting for smaller gatherings or solo celebrations would likely also be more inclined to turn to streaming entertainment during such social-centric holidays,” the company said.

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