Connected TV

Streaming Has Risen to a 36.4% Share of Total TV Viewing

Streaming Has Risen to a 36.4% Share of Total TV Viewing

2 Min Read

Nielsen’s most recent ‘The Gauge’ report confirms that streaming is back on its climb in share of TV viewing time. After a slight dip in April, streaming made a comeback, rising to represent 36.4% of total TV viewing in May. While this rebound was partially fueled by a methodology change by Nielsen that better accounted for streaming usage, the other half of the 2.5% increase came from evolving viewer preferences. Notably, free ad-supported television (FAST) services like Pluto TV, Tubi TV, and the Roku Channel collectively matched the viewership levels of popular platforms such as Peacock and HBO Max, surpassing even Amazon Prime Video.

People aren’t just streaming more—they’re also watching less broadcast and cable. That’s why, despite the streaming surge, overall TV time was down by about 4.4% in May. Broadcast was down by 5.5%, due in part to a significant drop in sports viewership, while cable saw a 5.4% decline. This is despite cable’s slight boost in viewership for a while that was driven by extensive coverage of the NBA Finals on ESPN and TNT. 

Of course, this downward trend is nothing new. Viewers only have so many hours in a day, and the more they turn to streaming services, the more traditional TV will see the effects on their viewership.

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