Nielsen Study Shows Streaming Platforms Feature More Diversity than Cable TV





remote pointing at tv

New data from Nielsen research shows that streaming services have more diverse groups featured in their content than regular cable TV. The research shows almost one-third of cable content lacks equal representation of indigenous, people of color, women, or LGBTQ actors. That may be a factor as to why more and more people are favoring streaming services over traditional TV.

“At Nielsen, we believe that the audience is everything and that inclusion is a prerequisite of a healthy media ecosystem, ensuring all communities and individuals are heard and seen,” stated Tina Wilson, Nielsen EVP, Media Analytics and Marketing Outcomes. “The call for inclusive programming that breaks traditional stereotypes and gives a voice to underrepresented groups has never been louder.”

In the report based on data from Gracenote Inclusion Analytics and Nielsen audience measurement, findings show white men hold a lopsided share of screen (SOS) percentage of 88.7% on cable; 66.9% on broadcast, and 64.9% on SVOD, while women only appear onscreen 38% of the time across all platforms. African Americans’ share of SOS is 7.5% on cable, 24.7% on broadcast, and 18.9% on SVOD.

Based on the population demographic versus what you see on TV, the LGBTQ community is actually slightly overrepresented with the top programs across all platforms having strong relative representation of LGBTQ+ cast members (7%) in proportion to the share of the population (4.5%).

Overall, women, and Hispanic women in particular are the most severely under-represented across all genres or content.

The study shows that audiences, regardless of how they identify, like to see diversity in the content they view on TV. That’s reflected in overall audience ratings for all viewers when compared to shows that have a significant over or under representation of any one identity group.  

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