With Covid-19 came a lot of changes, one of them being the rise in streaming apps. Now that everything is slowly getting back to some form of normality, will the use of streaming apps still continue to grow?
Everyone can say that during lockdown, their usage of streaming apps went through the roof.
We have all ordered off JustEat more times than we would like to admit, and we have all pretty much spent the entire lockdown binge watching Netflix.
A lot of people have relied upon streaming apps to get them through these difficult times. Many of us have never used streaming apps before but millions across the globe have had to download them just to get their basic needs such as food or entertainment.
The Ofcom Media Nations 2020 reports said: “An estimated 12 million UK adults adopted new video streaming services during lockdown, of whom around three million had never used one before.”
“Some of these were older viewers who previously watched only broadcast TV. One third (32%) of 55-64 year olds, and 15% of people aged 65+ used subscription streaming services in the early weeks of lockdown.”
Tom Watson, a Media Lecturer at Teesside University, said: “It perhaps becomes something of a necessity for people to engage with entertainment this way.”
We have all adapted to this ‘new way of life’. Families have had to teach each other how to use certain video streaming apps such as, Zoom or Skype, just so they can all stay in touch with one another.
A survey carried out by TUXtra found out that a whopping 92% of people believed that the public had relied upon these streaming apps.
34 out of 40 people said it’s because they were scared to venture out into supermarkets and would rather buy their shopping online as it’s safer than actually visiting the supermarket.
82.5% of people admitted that they have used streaming apps a lot more during lockdown than any other time before that.
There is a sense that many of us do not want to go back to normal, we have created this kind of comfort bubble where we know what to expect.
The survey that was carried out by TUXtra found out that 47.5% of people will not use streaming apps once lockdown is lifted, with 30% saying they are unsure and 22.5% saying they would continue to use the streaming apps even when lockdown is lifted.
After all this time spent in lockdown, one would assume that 100% of people would say they would never use streaming again considering they were used day in and day out.
The fact that this response was quite a mixed one, shows that people are unsure if things will ever truly go back to normal.
A report published by Statista Research, who are a worldwide market research firm, said: “The virus outbreak has caused many individuals to start or increase grocery shopping online, given that it is safer than visiting physical outlets.”
“In 2021, over 40 percent of shoppers in the UK even believed they would continue food shopping online at the same level as they do now once the pandemic is over.”
Before Covid-19, everyone took their basic needs, such as food or drink, for granted. Everyone enjoyed going out for food with friends or even popping round to their parents for a drink and a catch-up.
After spending all this time in lockdown, a lot of people have become accustomed to this virtual, online life and many do not want to go back to the way it used to be.
Certain streaming apps positively boomed with Covid-19 seeing as most of us were confined to our homes with nothing but the television for company.
Streaming apps, such as All4 and Netflix, have had an increase in subscriptions at the start of the 1st lockdown and they have just grown from there.
During the first quarter of 2021, Netflix had a massive 207.64 million paid subscribers across the world.
This could be a result of people getting sick of watching regular daytime television, so they are trying to find new things to watch.
Tom Watson said: “I think now, more so than ever, there is a sense of immense competition between streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ because they are essentially fighting for your subscription.”
“What this means in reality is ‘exclusivity of content’, in order to keep those subscribers there when they have already paid their monthly bill.”
“However, because people are limited in where they can physically go, I wonder how long it would actually take to binge watch all of the quality programming before the fatigue starts to set in.”
“When this happens, and I have felt this myself, you begin to question the value of the subscription and perhaps begin to look elsewhere.”
“There is perhaps a sense of exhaustion one can end up experiencing if they have already watched the key, flagship dramas.”
As streaming apps have progressed a lot throughout our time spent at home, they need to make sure they keep us watching and paying for the monthly subscription.
Releasing fresh new content based on what viewers seem to like is the only way that these big companies keep us hooked.
I know I, as well as many others, took advantage of the fact that we could relive our childhoods with shows such as The Suite Life on Deck and Hannah Montana. I mean who doesn’t want to binge watch the entire series of The Simpsons?
I think in that first couple of weeks during the 1st lockdown my own family didn’t see me at all, I was too busy starting new series I’d discovered and re-watching my favourite childhood ones.
Tom Watson said: “The fact that Disney+ has The Mandalorian, WandaVision and now Falcon and The Winter Soldier, means they can attract those huge audience figures as they are there ready to watch.”
Streaming apps are coming up with new and incredible ways to keep us subscribed and the fact that Disney+ is creating these spin-offs, is something that I’m sure everyone is grateful for.
As a keen marvel fan myself, I was over the moon when the Falcon and the Winter Soldier was released.
It makes you think that if these lockdowns didn’t happen, would we still of been blessed with Disney+?
What will this mean for the future of streaming apps?
Cinemas have been shut throughout lockdown which means that new movies that were set to be released have been postponed, or have they?
Sky has started premiering new movies that are available to buy on Sky store, so there is no need to miss those long-awaited films that you have been waiting for.
We can now watch brand new movies in the comfort of our own home. I mean, if you turn the lights off in your living room, crack open a bag of popcorn and snuggle up with blankets, it’s surely a better way to watch new releases?
No Man’s Land is a movie that was released on the 22nd of January 2021 and like many other movies that were released during lockdown, people could not go and watch them in the cinema.
As a result of the cinemas being closed, companies had to find new ways of premiering their movies so, much like everything else, they moved it to online.
The whole point of going to the cinema is to see new movies that have been released but now with this new way of watching new movies, will we ever want to go back to making a trip to the cinema?
See below for the official trailer of No Man’s Land.
Ashleigh, a childcare student says: “I do hope that, eventually, things go back to normal.”
“I have a young baby so I’m a little bit scared to be going out when it’s not fully safe, I’d much rather stay at home and watch movies there.”
“I’m a Disney+ top fan. As soon as I heard all my friends go on about how good it was, I knew I had to download it and see for myself and I’m glad I did.”
“It costs £7.99 a month which I thought wasn’t really that bad for the amount of TV shows and films that are on there.”
“I didn’t actually know about new movies being released online but I suppose this is good as people can watch new films and won’t have to wait ages.”
“I think if I had a choice, I would prefer to stay at home where I know I’m safe, plus I wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for some popcorn.”
“I feel like maybe once restrictions lift, streaming services will decline a little, what with everyone going out for food and drink but then it will pick up again once the initial buzz of being allowed back out again has worn off.”
Josh, an electrician, says: “I can’t wait to be able to go out again. I feel like I’ve spent far too much money whilst in lockdown especially on buying films on Amazon Prime.”
“After a while, watching the same films and programmes continuously gets quite boring. I’d much rather be sat in a cinema because it’s a far better experience that watching from a little telly at home.”
“I think that is what people want the most, just to feel the experience of being in a cinema again. No matter how much you try, no one can re-create that feeling.”
“Once restrictions have eased, streaming apps, will definitely not be used as much as they have been.”
“I hope the apps stay how they are though because it’s still nice to have both options there when you want it.”
So, will the future of streaming apps suffer or continue to grow?
I’m a 3rd year Journalism student trying to gain experience within the industry.