Nielsen: Streaming Platforms Accounted for 28% of Consumer’s Total TV Time in October


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Fall has ushered in a new season of hit shows and live sports and viewers are flocking back to their TV, according to a study by The Gauge, Nielsen’s total TV and streaming snapshot. In October, streaming represented 28% of consumers’ total TV time, which has stayed steady since May. 

Streaming’s 28% share is equal to broadcast, which increased by 2% from September. The return of the NFL season, the 2021 World Series, and a fresh lineup of fall shows make up a big reason for the increase. In October, NFL games made up the top 10 most watched broadcast programs which continues to be a trend.

The Gauge’s data shows that linear streamers, which are included in the “other streaming” category, saw double-digit growth in viewership.

After premiering original hit shows like Squid Game, You, and Maid, Netflix gained a share point to account for 7% of total viewing. Add in the addition of Seinfield, and the actual minutes viewed on Netflix rose 5.5%, according to the study.

The study shows that competing streamers including Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ saw a decrease in total minutes, which fell about 2.5% each. Hulu saw a small decline of viewership by 0.3%, however, YouTube’s viewership increased by 2.2%, amplified by YouTube TV.

Other takeaways from The Gauge’s October Report

  • Cable made up 37% of total TV viewership, a 1% decrease from September
  • Broadcast and Streaming  each made up 28% of total TV viewership 
  • “Other” made up the remaining 6% of TV viewership
  • Streaming’s 28% broken down by service:
    • 9% Other Streaming (linear streamers: Charter/Spectrum, DIRECTV, SlingTV, etc), 7% Netflix, 6% Youtube (includes YouTube TV), 3% Hulu (includes Hulu + Live TV), 2% Prime Video, and 1% Disney+

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