Streaming Viewership Has Surpassed Cable TV Tune-In For The First Time, Per Nielsen

Viewership of streaming programming surpassed that of cable TV for the first time in July, Nielsen reported.

The measurement firm, in its monthly snapshot of overall viewership called The Gauge, said streaming accounted for 34.8% of all viewing. That share of the total rose almost 23% compared with July 2021. Cable, meanwhile, took 34.4% of the total, sliding 9% from the year before. Broadcast slumped almost 10% year-over-year to account for 21.6% of tune-in.

One factor in July was the end of the NBA playoffs, which pulled significant numbers on TNT and ESPN in June. The Tokyo Olympics also boosted cable in July 2021. Streaming in July 2022 also benefited from the blockbuster premiere of the final two episodes of Stranger Things Season 4, among other big draws.

Football season, which kicks off for college and NFL teams in the next couple of weeks, should revive the fortunes of traditional TV.

Total time spent watching TV in July closely resembled that of both June 2022 and July 2021, Nielsen said, but the share-shift has been dramatic.

Compared with June, streaming increased 3.2% and gained 1.1 share points. Time spent streaming in July averaged nearly 191 billion minutes per week. Each of the five measurement weeks in July 2022 now account for five of the six highest-volume streaming weeks on record, according to Nielsen.

Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube each captured record-high shares again in July after previously doing so in June. Netflix represented the largest share of overall TV viewing for a streaming platform with 8%, boosted by the nearly 18 billion viewing minutes of Stranger Things alone.

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