Streaming Now Accounts for Almost A Third of TV Time

August 11, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Digital | Industries | Media & Entertainment | Television | TV Audiences & Consumption | Video

The rise in popularity of streaming video has been well documented, but how does streaming fit into total TV time? Nielsen provides an update one year into publishing “The Gauge,” its monthly snapshot of TV and streaming usage.

Nielsen points out that time spent watching TV hasn’t changed over the past year, but the platforms used are shifting, according to its data, which “equalizes measurement of the time audiences spend with their TV sets.”

The biggest change of course is the role that streaming plays: in May 2022, streaming accounted for 31.9% share of total TV time, up more than 5 points from the year-earlier period (26.3% share), by virtue of a usage increase exceeding 21%.

Much of that gain in share of TV time has come at the expense of cable, for which viewing slipped by 7.1%. As a result, cable viewing fell to 36.5% share of total TV time, almost 3 points down from its 39.3% share a year earlier.

Broadcast also registered a decrease – both in viewing and in share of TV time – but to a much more modest extent. A 3.3% dip in viewing resulted in broadcast declining slightly from 25.3% to 24.4% share of total TV time in May.

Netflix remains the leader among streaming platforms, but only by a hair. While its share of total TV time grew from 6% in May 2021 to 6.8% in May of this year, it’s lead among streaming platforms shrunk slightly. Indeed, in May, it accounted for 21.4% of streaming viewing time, down from 22.8% a year earlier. YouTube sits right on its tail (as it does among teens), at 21.1% share of streaming time and 6.7% share of total TV time. As with Netflix, although YouTube’s share of streaming time has slipped ever so slightly, it has gained more share of total TV time (likely at the expense of cable).

Slightly further back are Hulu (10.7% share of streaming time; 3.4% share of total TV time); Amazon Prime (8.2% share of streaming time; 2.6% share of total TV time); Disney+ (5.4% share of streaming time; 1.7% share of total TV time); and HBO MAX (3.1% share of streaming time; 1% share of total TV time).

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