Conviva, the intelligence cloud for streaming media, released streaming and social engagement data for Round 1 of the March Madness men’s NCAA basketball tournament today, analyzing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for the 64 participating teams as well as streaming numbers related to game viewing. Overall, the 2021 March Madness tournament is the most streamed in history with the first round setting a record of more than a billion minutes streamed across 32 games in just two days.

Streaming viewing on televisions for Round 1 increased significantly to 68% share of time spent streaming, up from 48% share in 2019 and just 41% share in the opening days of 2018. Unsurprisingly, Roku captured 40% share of streaming devices for big screens; Amazon Fire TV came in second place with 26% share of viewing time, followed by Samsung TV with 10% and Apple TV with 8% share.

On the social side, engagements per March Madness social post rose an average of 164% for teams in Round 1 as compared to the regular season. Oral Roberts saw 15X growth of engagements per social post versus the regular season, followed by VCU which also netted quadruple-digit gains. Overall, teams tallied three million total cross-platform engagements over just two days, with Wisconsin, Syracuse and Illinois taking the top three spots for total cross-platform engagements.

“From the Super Bowl to the World Series, streaming and social video has become a cornerstone of every major sporting event as more and more fans use these avenues to follow the sports they love,” said Nick Cicero, VP Strategy, Conviva. “As streaming quality continues to improve and fans find new ways to engage with each other and their favorite teams, we expect the winning partnership between streaming and sports to continue.”

Data for this report was collected utilizing Conviva’s newest solution, Viewer Insights, which enables marketers and content creators to build and engage audiences with the right mix of social media, advertising, and streaming content. Early access to Conviva Viewer Insights is now available to select customers.

“Fans of college sports turn to streaming platforms to watch their favorite schools compete, making social media an essential part of a fan engagement strategy,” said Chris Dion, Associate Director, Digital, NCAA. “Conviva’s intelligence helps us make better decisions about where to invest our time and resources to best engage and grow our audience.”

Other March Madness findings included:

  • Historically the first day of Round 1 sees the most viewership. This held true in 2021 as day one netted 15% more time spent streaming than day two.
  • Iona reigned supreme on Facebook with a 14.6% engagement rate, with Oregon State coming in second at 7.2%.
  • Oral Roberts earned the top engagement rates on both Twitter and Instagram, with 6.9% and 60.6% respectively.
  • Illinois achieved the most total engagements on Twitter with 40,000, while Wisconsin had the most total engagements on both Facebook (48,000) and Instagram (137,000).

The full March Madness report can be downloaded here: www.conviva.com/research/march-madness-2021-rd1

Methodology

Data for Conviva’s March Madness report was collected from Conviva’s proprietary sensor technology, measuring in excess of 500 million unique viewers annually. Streaming data presented is aggregated findings from six streaming publishers and vMVPDs live streaming March Madness in Round 1 on March 19 and 20. The social data is representative of all teams participating in March Madness and includes accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for Round 1 on March 19 and 20. Comparisons to the regular season are based on social data for the window of November 25 to March 14.

 About Conviva
Conviva is the intelligence cloud for streaming media. Powered by our patented Stream Sensor™ and StreamID™, our real-time platform enables marketers, advertisers, tech ops, engineering and customer care teams to build, engage and monetize their audiences. Conviva is dedicated to supporting brands like CCTV, DAZN, Disney+, Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, Sky, Sling TV, TED and WarnerMedia as they unlock the incredible opportunity in streaming media. Today our platform processes nearly 2 trillion streaming data events daily, supporting more than 500 million unique viewers watching 180 billion streams per year across 3.3 billion applications streaming on devices. Conviva ensures digital businesses of all sizes can stream better—every stream, every screen, every second.

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