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Parks Associates’ Landmark Research Addresses The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Technology and Home Services Markets

Forty-five million US broadband households engaged in remote work or schooling

Landmark research from Parks Associates, which measures the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding connected home technologies, reveals that over 90% of US broadband households report making a significant change to their lifestyle to avoid catching COVID-19 and to limit its spread.

Parks Associates also finds that 51% of US broadband households bought at least one consumer electronics product between February and September 2020, including computing, networking, entertainment, and mobile devices.

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COVID-19: Impact on Consumer Behavior and Spending finds that as of September 2020, 41% of US broadband households, representing 45 million households, were engaged in remote work or remote schooling. Sixty-two percent of remote workers are using their home broadband more than usual, nearly double the rate of non-remote workers.

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This research series leverages Parks Associates’ ongoing consumer surveys of 10,000 US broadband households per quarter, as well as targeted surveys of 5,000, to identify trends and deliver ongoing insights into how consumers are responding COVID-19, including the impact to market fundamentals and product purchases, service subscriptions and usage, and home services.

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“With record-high unemployment, household spending is primarily on essential goods, as uncertainty about the future remains high,” said Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Some technology products are viewed as essential tools. Companies have changed how they interact with their customers – leveraging e-commerce channels, offering new curbside pick-up and delivery options, and providing remote rather than in-home technical support services.”

The research examines the key segments, consumer desires and attitudes, current ownership rates, and planned purchases across connected living markets. Key findings and market insights from the research include the following:

  • The overall churn rate for OTT services dropped to 38%, down from 46% a year ago.
  • COVID-19 has prompted roughly 33% of security system owners and intenders to avoid professional installers.
  • 24% of households with fixed broadband service report they are likely to upgrade in the next six months.
  • 60% of pay-TV subscribers are interested in content from an online video service as part of their pay-TV subscription.
  • Use of telehealth services jumped from 15% in 2Q 2019 to 41% in 2Q 2020.
  • More than 15 million US households have only a mobile broadband service, including more than 12 million that cut the cord on their home broadband and approximately three million that have never had home broadband services.
  • NPS for mobile phone providers trends significantly higher than NPS for pay-TV and internet service providers, with Boost Mobile and T-Mobile leading the way.

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