During the pandemic, streaming adoption accelerated beyond expectation, skyrocketing to new heights with every passing quarter. However, as they say, all good things must come to an end. In the case of global streaming consumption, this means a stabilization as the pandemic-driven gains are maintained and a new bar is set for what normal looks like in entertainment.
Global viewing time still rose 7% in Q4 2021 as compared to the previous Q4, and we expect in coming quarters it will continue to build slowly but steadily as the great streaming surge ebbs.
Q4 2021 highlights:
Big screens continue to dominate viewership globally, commanding over 50% of share in every region except Asia. Notably, Asia was a
bright spot for big screens, as their share is growing rapidly in the region.
- Connected TVs’ share of viewing time fell for the first time ever, and of connected TV-first device manufacturers, only Roku grew, while Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV dropped 1% and 7%, respectively.
- Globally, video quality improved, with one big exception—start time. Video start time was up to over five seconds, while ad start time also rose substantially to 2.6 seconds as technical issues left viewers waiting for both content and ads in Q4.
- YouTube Shorts seem to be gaining traction, as shorter-form content grew more than 2% from last year on the platform best known for long-form videos.
- U.S. sports leagues saw their high mark in engagement on social media in Q4, besting pre-pandemic numbers captured at the beginning of 2020.