According to data from Comscore, average in-home data usage is up 18% so far in March 2020 vs. the same amount of time in March 2019, with Americans becoming increasingly housebound.
Devices which have seen the largest amount of data usage are mobile phones, smart speakers, connected TVs and streaming boxes. Between March 15-17 2020, CTVs received an average of 3.6GB of data, an increase of 37% from 2.6GB over the same period in 2019. Streaming sticks used even more data over the period, with 5.4GB (up 38% from 3.9GB year-over-year).
These increases can be attributed to households increasing their interactions with streaming media amid the pandemic, but also the more commonplace consumption of data-intensive UHD and HDR content.
Bill Livek, CEO, Comscore, said: “If the current quarantines continue across the country, we expect this upward data usage trend to continue, as consumers shift their work, school, information gathering, shopping and entertainment habits amidst the COVID-19 crisis.”
Games consoles are the most data-hungry of household devices, receiving 4.4GB on average between March 15-17 2020 – a year-over-year increase of 48%. With this in mind, Sony has followed the likes of Netflix and YouTube by announcing that it would slow its download speeds “to help preserve access for the entire internet community,” but promised that players would still enjoy “robust gameplay.”
A statement from Sony said: “We believe it is important to do our part to address internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practicing social distancing and are becoming more reliant on internet access.”
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