In the darkest days of the lockdowns, millions of people looked to remote "watch parties" to binge their favorite shows with friends -- even if they couldn't get together.
And according to the media researchers at Hub, this "co-viewing" trend is here to stay, thanks in part to the pandemic, and because 70% of homes in the U.S. now have smart TVs that allow for a more streamlined co-viewing experience.
The company crunched the numbers, and as part of its third annual "Evolution of the TV Set" report, compiled just who these co-viewers were, and how they're getting their shared entertainment.
According to Hub's non-scientific survey of more than 2,500 people aged 16 to 74, 23% percent of viewers said they have enjoyed content via a co-viewing app or service this year, up three percentage points from 2020.
Forty-one percent of viewers aged 16 to 34 have co-watched; 23% of those 35 to 54 have; while -- perhaps not surprisingly -- only 3% of those 55 and older have watched shows and movies with others remotely.
According to Hub's findings, Amazon Watch Party is the most commonly used co-viewing app at 44%. The next most popular apps are two adapted from other uses: Discord, familiar to gamers, was at 28%, followed close behind at 27% by Zoom, with which we've all become familiar during the pandemic.
Use of Amazon Watch Party proved to be more common with the 35-54 age group, versus those in the 16-34 age range, and the app proved more appealing to men than women: 52% to 31%.
On the flip side, 33%, or a third of those surveyed in the 16-to-24-year-old group, chose Discord; just 26% of their 35-to-54-year-old counterparts did.