The world is currently holding its collective breath as it watches what appears to be a pandemic in the making. The coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, is spreading rapidly worldwide and already having economic consequences ranging from oil prices plunging to supermarket shelves being stripped of essentials. Of all the effects coronavirus is having, perhaps some of the most surprising have been on streaming video. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, analysts are sharing different predictions about how the pandemic may affect the streaming video world.
The coronavirus has already prompted major entertainment companies like Disney to cancel launch events, and many churches, live music venues, and other organizations are cancelling public events. For these reasons, some media analysts have predicted that the coronavirus could cause a sharp rise in streaming video use.
Investment news and advice site Investorplace.com ran an article this week claiming that Roku could benefit from the COVID-19 outbreak, noting that “if people stream more while they stay at home as a result of the outbreak, Roku’s sales could rise.” This would in term cause a rise in subscription services, ad revenue and other types of income at Roku, the article claims.
Similarly, investment advice site Fool.com asked this week if coronavirus is boosting Netflix’s subscriber growth. Apparently, some analysts are predicting a sharp rise in Netflix subscriptions in Q2 2020, fueled to some degree by more people staying home to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19. “With coronavirus fears pushing consumers away from travel and out-of-home entertainment, Netflix could be a near-term beneficiary of this temporarily altered behavior,” said analyst Michael Olson of Piper Sandler. However, other analysts have offered the opposite prediction that the virus could be bad for Netflix, writing that despite more people staying in and watching Netflix, additional viewing hours don’t actually drive up subscriptions.
Whatever happens with the coronavirus and the streaming video world, the fact that so many discussions of the virus now involve streaming show just how deeply interwoven into our lives streaming video has become. Don’t panic as more states of emergency are declared. Just wash your hands, stock up on non-perishable food, and kill the cable bill.