Webby Insights December 10, 2020

Hey, Let’s Go Out! … Oh, Wait

Remember concerts? Or going out to a movie? And just forget about tickets to that NBA game these days.

This year at The Webby Awards we are recognizing the new types of virtual work and events with new categories like Arts & Culture, Business & Finance, and Best Host or Speaker. As part of the introduction of these honors we have taken a deep dive into this new world of experiences in our annual Webby Trend Report.

Many key industries have been paralyzed since the virus reared its ugly head, one of the biggest as we know is the entertainment industry. At the same time, there are many companies—either digitally native ones or those that have adopted serious digital chops—that are thriving due to the lockdown.

  • Netflix reported almost 16 million new paid subscribers globally
  • Disney+ reached 50 million global subscribers within its first five months
  • By April, Twitch saw a 50% increase in hours watched, clocking 1.6 billion viewed hours per month
  • Audio streaming services like Spotify gained 6 million paid subscribers


  • A Halving in Experience: While people have shied away from attending live events, 47% we surveyed have accessed online events since the pandemic began.
  • Jet Stream: With everyone confined to their homes for the most part, we’ve seen a 30% uptick for video on demand year-over-year beginning the month of March.
  • More and More Connections: People are engaging and sharing more, with an increase of 22% posting statuses and updates, 27% more are commenting on updates and statuses, and 37% are chatting and messaging more than at the beginning of the lockdown.


  • While we can’t replace in-person experiences, companies have come up with creative and natural ways to transfer offline experiences online.
  • When the return of in-person events happens, we can and should keep some of these systems in place to make events more accessible for those who can’t be there in person. There are opportunities for consumers, performers, and content creators to reach larger audiences by creating additive experiences online.
  • Creativity was forced to expand in limited circumstances, bringing to light new ideas, production methods, and collaborations that were never considered. Audiences have reacted well and more content is being consumed more than ever, proving that permanently expanding our creative options will be good for audiences and companies alike. And in the process, creating new connection pathways and spurring innovation.

Keep the faith. Someday, we’ll be together. Until then, we have each other virtually.

Learn more at the 2020 Webby Awards Trend Report