How Video is Changing the World 2020

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Blog Post by Charlie Kraus, Senior Product Marketing Manager

June 22, 2020

Limelight just released a new report: “How Video is Changing the World”. Not surprisingly, the research shows that people are increasingly turning to online video for daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and usage shows no signs of stopping.


What is surprising is the seismic shift in global viewing habits that took place almost overnight and the impact video is now having on work, social connections and leisure activities.

Video viewing habits shift almost overnight

The definition of online video viewing has shifted as dramatically as the increase in the amount video consumed on a daily basis. Online video has been primarily associated with streaming video platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+. Over the past few months primarily due to COVID-19, online video has taken an additional new role as a top source of collaboration among workers at home, entertainment, education, social interactions and information. In fact, the global average of four hours and 3 minutes per day of online video viewing is a dramatic increase compared to a single hour average measured in the State of Online Video 2019 study just six months ago, due in large part to the new uses of video.

Consumer viewing hours of online video have expanded

Most people (85%) globally now watch up to six hours of online video per day. People in India watch by far the most online video at an average of five hours and 16 minutes per day, the largest percentage (7.1%) who watch more than 12 hours per day. The lowest average viewing hours is in South Korea, closely followed by France and the UK.



Figure 1: How many hours per day do you watch/use online video?

The vast majority of people have used video chat to feel more connected

It’s important to understand what’s driving the increase in video use, and video chat is a significant contributor. 89% of people have used video to communicate, and over 50% use it daily.



Figure 8: Throughout the pandemic, how often have you used video to chat with friends and family to feel more connected?

Working from home is driving much of the video chat

Working from home is no longer just a nice-to-have benefit for employees, but a necessity for desk-based workers as offices have shut down. In fact, 33% say the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the first time their employer offered them the ability to work from home, while 36% of people already had the ability to work from home (18% already worked from home full time and 18% part time).



Figure 32: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has your employer offered remote work options to you for the first time?


Whether working from home, or for social connections, nearly seven in ten people (69%) use video conferencing at least once a day.



Figure 37: How many times a day do you use video conferencing to connect with people?


Online video has allowed people to continue many of their daily activities. In fact, 79% of respondents say online video has allowed them to maintain half or all of their daily activities.



Figure 4: Has online video helped you to maintain your day-to-day activities?

The increased use of online video isn’t a short-term trend

With the significant increase in online video consumption during the pandemic, what will happen as new normal behaviors become established? The below data shows some evidence that online learning will remain popular, with 83% of people planning to participate in them over the next year.



Figure 5: Which of the following online learning programs do you plan to participate in over the next year?


The findings in this report demonstrates how online video filled a void and allowed them to continue many daily activities and stay connected to people during COVID-19 quarantines and consumers liked the options it presents. In fact, most people are planning to continue to use online video for their daily activities even as the pandemic abates. On the business side, working from home became an option for the first time for many, and they discovered the benefits of video for business meetings and collaboration with coworkers. As we enter our “new normal” following the pandemic, many workplaces will likely shift to being more flexible with remote working options. Expect far reaching changes in how people socialize and work, impacting entertainment, travel, the commercial office market, and many other ways we can’t foresee yet. No matter what changes occur, online video will continue to be a key enabler.


Contact us to learn more about how Limelight can help you solve your online video challenges.