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Expand chart
Data: Nielsen; Chart: Axios Visuals

Streaming video has shot up dramatically in the U.S. over the past month, as more people turn to their screens for comfort during the nationwide coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic has changed user behavior to promote more binge-watching, a habit that's likely to stay after the crisis concludes.

Driving the news: Americans (over the age of 2) streamed 85% more minutes of video in March 2020 compares to March 2019, according to a new report from Nielsen.

  • In total, Americans streamed 156 billion minutes of television during the last week of March, compared to 115 billion during the last week of February.

Binge viewing, according to Hulu, which is defined as watching 3+ episodes in the same session, has grown more than 25% over the past two weeks vs. the two weeks prior.

Details: Netflix had the biggest share of streaming minutes during the last week of March with 29%, followed by YouTube at 20%, Hulu at 10% and Amazon at 9%.

  • But over the past few weeks, Netflix grew the least amount in percentage of total streaming compared to other companies.

Yes, but: Netflix still had 9 of the top 10 most-streamed pieces of programming March 9-15, per Nielsen, including "Spenser Confidential" followed by "The Office" in the top two spots.

Be smart: Nielsen's rankings mirror findings from Hulu out earlier this week that suggest that viewers have gravitated toward comedies and "comfort" TV shows, like sitcoms, reality television and cartoons.

  • HBO says that it's seen expected viewership gains amongst its original series, as well as films and some documentaries.

The big picture: The uptick in streaming video reflects a greater consumption in media overall as people are stuck inside their homes, per Nielsen.

What to watch: Older demographics that aren't typically streaming as much as younger generations are streaming more television than their younger counterparts right now.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.