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Comscore Finds Increased In-Home Data Usage in U.S. Amid Global Pandemic

June 2020 in-home data consumption up 14 percent compared to June 2019

Smart TVs, up 28 percent in June 2020, saw largest year-over-year data consumption increase

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-home device usage surged in the United States as millions of Americans complied with stay-at-home orders. Continued research from Comscore, a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms, shows that, while the gap is beginning to shrink, average 2020 in-home data usage levels remain higher than 2019 levels.

Year-over-year in-home data consumption across devices, although down slightly from a 30 percent year-over-year growth in May 2020, was still up 14 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019. Viewed by platform, data usage via Smart TVs remained up 28 percent in June 2020 compared to June 2019, although down from a 55 percent year-over-year increase in May 2020. Following this trend, Gaming Console year-over-year consumption was flat in June 2020, although down from an 8 percent year-over-year increase in May 2020, and Streaming Boxes/Sticks usage, although down from a 32 percent year-over-year increase in May 2020, still saw a 14 percent increase in June 2020 compared to June 2019.

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During the month of June 2020, 78 percent of data was consumed via Streaming Boxes/Sticks, Gaming Consoles, and Smart TVs. Streaming Boxes/Sticks made up 31 percent of in-home data consumption in June 2020, nearly identical to the 30 percent share in June 2019. Data consumption via Smart TV rose two percent year-over-year, while the share of data consumed on Gaming Consoles declined from 27 percent in June 2019 to 24 percent in June 2020.

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The largest difference in average total in-home data usage between 2020 and 2019, +42 percentage points in 2020, occurred during the week of March 23, 2020, the first full week of lockdown in many states. But this gap shrunk to just +13 percentage points in 2020 by the week of June 29, 2020. This deceleration in year-over-year growth could be due to a variety of factors, including people spending less time indoors as states continue to reopen and people looking to engage in outdoor activity during the summer months.

Some state governments may impose another round of stay-at-home orders due to the recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases, which could again drive an increase in in-home data consumption. Comscore will continue to monitor these changing consumption habits and provide ongoing insights on its Coronavirus Insights Hub.

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