Technology

Streaming services like Disney+ see significant uptick in new users

Family-friendly streaming services like Disney+ have seen a surge in new subscribers over the last week as a result of schools shutting down and people looking to fill their time while under lockdown. Virtually every service has experienced growth over the past couple of weeks, some more than others.
The coronavirus response has more and more countries recommending social distancing or placing entire regions on lockdown, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people are looking to fill up their time with more home entertainment. And given how expensive a TV cable package can get, streaming services are seeing a boom in the number of new subscribers.

Surprisingly, reports last week showed that fewer people are streaming popular music, while the opposite is happening in the video-on-demand and TV streaming space. According to analysts at Antenna, Disney+ in particular saw a tripling in the volume of people signing up in the US.

This figure is relative to the volume of new users from last week, and even Netflix – which was believed to have reached its maximum growth in the US – has seen a healthy 47 percent increase. HBO saw almost twice as many people signing up, thanks in part to the recent season premiere of Westworld and the series premiere of The Plot Against America earlier this month.

Others have seen relatively modest gains, including Apple TV+ and CBS All Access. As noted by Forbes, most of these increases happened just as the school closures came into effect.

In the EU, rising demand for streaming services and people working from home has put pressure on internet service providers, so the bloc urged Netflix and Youtube to reduce their bandwidth usage as a temporary solution to prevent traffic congestion. Netflix was the first to introduce a 25 percent reduction in video bitrate, followed by YouTube, Amazon and several others.

In related news, gamers are also increasingly glued to their PCs in record numbers on platforms like Steam. The service went from 20 million concurrent players a week ago to over 22 million as of writing.