Updated as of 5/18/2020

As markets are opening up, PBS viewing levels are returning to the seasonal averages

PBS General Audience

Viewing habits are shifting across platforms: returning to normal for broadcast while streaming is garnering new records 

PBS Broadcast

  • There was +19% growth in broadcast households compared to the 6 weeks before the outbreak1
  • However, PBS broadcast returned content driven behavior by week of May 4th 2

PBS Digital

  • In the first thee weeks, streaming increased an average +39% compared to the 6 weeks prior3
  • Streaming remains high at over 5.5 million streams per week3

PBS Passport

PBS Passport - March 2020 Data

  • Additional +13% streams compared to February 4
  • Record month for streaming at nearly 4.6MM streams4
  • Record month for activations, +64% increase from February and 47% more than March 20195



  • Kids 2-8 weekday ratings increased by +9% in the first few weeks of COVID but dropped to seasonal average by April6
  • Kids streaming increased by +29% and +42% for average weekly game play7
  • Downloads of the Games app have increased 42%7

PBS Learning Media & Parents Website

PBS Learning Media

  • Learning Media has shown no signs of slowing with site engagement up +24%, and +18% in pages/sessions 3
  • The site has garnered over +3.7MM users in April3
  • The Parents site has increased +21.1% year-over-year with a +43.2% increase in session duration3

PBS Development / Fundraising

PBS Development / Fundraising

  • eMarketer provided a podcast of what consumers expect from brands during the Coronavirus. Here is a link to the podcast
  • 82% of B2B buyers are concerned about an Covid-induced recession12
  • Kantar warns that a six-month absence from TV will result in an estimated 39% reduction in total brand communications11
  • MediaRadar details which industries/organizations are still spending in the marketplace which can be downloaded here

Industry Research

Industry Research

  •  Overall, Mar 16 - May 3 delivered +21% more total TV usage than the year prior8
    • However, total TV usage has been declining 1-3% each week since Mar 308
  • While following a similar pattern overall, streaming has been more volatile, dropping between 3-9% week to week 9
  • With less commuting time, radio listening declining by at least -12 during the initial Covid shutdown, but has since reached 82% of prior listening levels10


  1. Nielsen NPower Primetime All PBS Stations 3/16-4/5/20 vs. 3/18-4/7/19 Households
  2. Nielsen NPower Primetime Primary 3/16-5/11/20 
  3. Google Analytics PBS owned platforms 3/16-4/5/20 vs. 3/18-4/7/19, 5/4-5/11/20
  4. Google Analytics PBS owned platforms 3/16-4/5/20 vs. 3/18-4/7/19, MVOD
  5. Google Analytics PBS owned platforms 3/1-3/31/20 vs. 2/1-2/28/20, & 3/31/19, Activation
  6. NPOWER L+7, 3/16/20-5/10/2020, All PBS Stations, M-F 6AMM-6P, K2-17, A25-54 HOH/Spouse/Partner w/Child
  7. Google Analytics March ‘19 – May ‘19, February ‘20 – May ‘20; AppFigures March ‘19 – May ’19, February ‘20 – May ‘20
  8. Nielsen National TV Panel, Total Television Use is anytime spent with Live, Time-Shifted TV and any TV Connected Device
  9. Nielsen, Custom Streaming Meter Report, Sum of Weekly Streaming Minutes (Weighted), P2+, Total Day
  10. Nielsen PPM Overnights / PPM Market Summary / M-SU 6a-12M / Index of Average Daily un-weighted preliminary QHRs, P6+
  11. Cynopsis 3/26/20
  12. https://content-na1.emarketer.com/how-b2b-buyer-behavior-has-changed-in-light-of-covid-19-and-what-b2b-marketers-and-sellers-can-do-now