Comcast claims video-on-demand is hitting record highs

Comcast released some data on the uptick in network activity it’s seen since most Americans began social distancing and staying home to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Compared with its March 1 baseline, Comcast said evening and weekend usage is up with customers significantly increasing the amount of time spent watching television and gaming.

The company said linear video consumption increased 4 hours to 64 hours per week and that video-on-demand is nearing “record highs,” up 25% year over year. The company also said there has been a nearly 50% increase in voice remote requests for “free movies” and that voice remote queries have totaled more than 50 million some days.

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Comcast also said it’s seeing gaming downloads up 50% generally and 80% during new releases, and there has been a 38% increase in streaming and web video consumption.

AT&T late last week released some data showing a similar rise in video consumption patterns on its video services including DirecTV and AT&T TV. The company live viewing was up 15% and free video-on-demand was up nearly 25% March 16-20 compared to March 2-6.

The company said movie buying and renting volume has almost doubled during weekdays and on weekends as people spend most of their time at home.

“As the whole family is at home, we are seeing a 3X spike in titles that are suitable for family viewing like ‘Jumanji: The Next Level,’ ‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ as well as titles for kids like ‘Frozen II’ and ‘Spies Like Us,” the company said. “Interestingly, despite being in its 7th week of release, transactions on Tom Hanks’ ‘A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood’ increased over 2X, possibly due to the actor and his wife’s public battle with COVID-19. Not surprisingly, ‘Contagion’ was the #21 title last week, rising from the #47 spot 2 weeks ago.”