One Year In: Data Usage Surged During COVID-19 Pandemic
Connect with us

Datastream

One Year In: Data Usage Surged During Pandemic

Published

on

US Data Usage During Pandemic

Can I share this graphic?
Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

The Briefing

  • In 2020, average in-home data usage in the U.S. increased by 18% compared to 2019
  • Activity reached its peak in the spring, during the initial stages of the pandemic
  • While overall consumption grew in 2020, the share of use across devices remained fairly consistent

One Year In: Data Usage Surged During COVID-19 Pandemic

Americans spent a lot of time at home last year, as offices closed, schools shut down, and cities went into full-blown lockdown in an effort to flatten the curve.

Because of this, in-home data consumption in the U.S. surged. To provide some perspective, this graphic shows the average monthly data usage in 2020 compared to 2019.

Percent Change by Month

At the start of 2020, data consumption was up 16% compared to 2019, driven largely by streaming boxes and smart TVs.

But by March (when the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic) usage had spiked, with a 28% increase compared to the year prior.

Month (2020)YoY Change
January16%
February16%
March28%
April36%
May30%
June14%
July13%
August19%
September14%
October11%
November19%
December (1-27)12%

Interestingly, March’s increase was largely driven by phones (43%), smart TVs (41%), and streaming boxes (36%), while PC/Mac consumption experienced a low increase in comparison (9%).

However, more Americans started using their PC/Macs from home in April, presumably because of the shift to remote work. From spring onward, desktop usage growth hovered at around 20-25%. And by December, PC/Mac use had grown 34% compared to the year prior.

Usage by Device

It’s worth noting that, while overall data consumption increased in 2020, people’s consumption habits didn’t change all that much.

DeviceShare of Use (2019)Share of Use (2020)YoY change
Smart TV20%23%3%
Gaming Console26%23%-3%
PC/Mac11%11%--
Phone6%6%--
Smart Speaker1%1%--
Streaming Box/Stick32%32%--
Tablet4%4%--

In fact, when it came to the share of use across devices, the only ones to see any change were smart TVs and gaming consoles.

At least some things remained relatively normal in 2020.

» Want to learn more? Check out our COVID-19 information hub to help put the past year into perspective

Where does this data come from?

Source: Comscore
Notes: Comscore (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms. For more information on research and methodology, contact press@comscore.com

Click for Comments

Datastream

Ranked: The Top Online Music Services in the U.S. by Monthly Users

This graphic shows the percentage of Americans that are monthly music listeners for each service. Which online music service is most popular?

Published

on

Top Online Music Services in the U.S.

The Briefing

  • Two-thirds of music listeners in the U.S. used YouTube at least once per month
  • 64% of music listeners use multiple music services per month

The Top Online Music Services in the U.S.

The music streaming industry is characterized by fierce competition, with many companies vying for market share.

Companies are competing on multiple fronts, from price and features to advertising and exclusive content, making it a challenging market for companies to succeed in.

YouTube (the standard offering and YouTube Music) has the highest amount of users, attracting around two-thirds of music listeners in the U.S. during a given month. This is largely due to the YouTube’s massive reach and extensive catalog of music.

Here’s a full rundown of the top music streaming services in the U.S. by monthly listeners:

RankMusic Service% of U.S. Music Listeners Who Use Monthly
#1YouTube61%
#2TSpotify35%
#2TAmazon Music 35%
#4Pandora23%
#5SiriusXM21%
#6Apple Music19%
#7iHeartRadio15%
#8SoundCloud10%
#9Audacity6%
#10TTuneIn5%
#10TDeezer5%
#10TNapster5%
#10TTidal5%

Two companies are in the running for second place: Spotify and Amazon Music.

Spotify leads in one important metric: number of paid users. Meanwhile, Amazon Music has a large user base since the service is bundled into Prime—however, recent changes mean that without a premium subscription, shuffled playback is the primary option. Time will tell what impact those changes will have on the service’s market share.

Prices for premium music services are beginning to creep upward. Apple Music and Amazon Music raised their prices, and it’s rumored that Spotify will not be far behind. This move would be significant because, in the U.S., Spotify hasn’t raised its prices in over a decade.

Rising prices and more aggressive promotion of premium subscriptions could be a signal that music streaming services are transitioning from a focus on capturing market share to monetizing existing users.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Activate Technology and Media Outlook 2023 by Activate Consulting

Data note: “Music services” include free and paid services used for listening to music through any format excluding terrestrial radio. “Music listeners” are defined as adults aged 18+ who spend any time listening to music.

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular