U.S. streaming climbs to record high in July

Tuesday, August 15th, 2023 
Nielsen logo

Streaming Climbs to Record High in July, Linear TV Falls Below 50%, according to Nielsen’s July 2023 Report of The Gauge™

  • Acquired Titles Boost Momentum of Streaming Viewership. Broadcast and Cable Each Exhibit New Lows.

NEW YORK — Streaming accounted for a record high 38.7% of total TV usage in July, while linear TV viewership fell below 50% for the first time, according to Nielsen’s July 2023 report of The Gauge™, the media measurement company’s monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs via television. Broadcast and cable each represented record low shares at 20.0% and 29.6% of total TV usage, respectively, to combine for a linear television total of 49.6%.

Time spent streaming (via a television) increased 2.9% in July compared with June, and the category gained a full share point to finish at 38.7% of total TV usage—topping its previous record-high share, which it recorded just last month. On a yearly basis, streaming viewership has grown 25.3%, and the category has gained 7.3 share points.

Nielsen The Gauge - Broadcast, Cable TV, Streaming (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, MAX, tubi, Peacock, Paramount+, Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Other streaming), Other - July 2023

Across streaming platforms, three achieved record high shares of TV in July:

  • YouTube (not including YouTube TV) viewing increased 5.6% vs. June, and its share climbed to 9.2% of total TV usage (the largest of all platforms).
  • Netflix viewing increased 4.2% vs. June, which brought it to 8.5% of total TV usage.
  • Amazon Prime Video viewing was up 5% vs. June to represent 3.4% of total TV usage (+0.2 pts.) in July.

In terms of streaming content, the premiere of new seasons of streaming originals across various platforms in July could not match the momentum of acquired content viewing. Suits (Netflix, Peacock) and Bluey (Disney+) were July’s most-watched streaming programs, combining for 23 billion viewing minutes, with Suits accounting for nearly 18 billion on its own. By comparison, the Netflix original Stranger Things also captured nearly 18 billion viewing minutes in July 2022 following the conclusion of its most recent season.

Broadcast viewership fell 3.6% in July to finish the month at 20.0% of overall television usage (-0.8 pts.), marking a new low for the broadcast category. While Dramas remained the top broadcast genre in July at 25.7% of the category, the top broadcast programs were ABC World News Tonight and the MLB All Star Game on FOX. Cable viewing was down 2.9% in July and its share also fell to a record low, finishing the month with 29.6% of overall TV usage (-1.0 pts.). ESPN’s Home Run Derby and College World Series were the top two cable programs in July, followed by When Calls The Heart on The Hallmark Channel.

On a year-over-year basis, broadcast viewing was down 5.4% (-1.5 pts.), and cable viewing was down 12.5% (-4.8 pts.).

About The Gauge™

The Gauge™ is Nielsen’s monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs through a television screen. The Gauge is underpinned by Nielsen’s National TV measurement service and Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings, the latter of which provides audience measurement data that details the amount of time consumers spend streaming and on which platforms. This broad look at platform usage provides complimentary insights to Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings, which details viewing to SVOD content at the title, program and episode levels. By leveraging Nielsen’s geographically representative panel of real people and big data, and showcasing both micro and macro-level data sets, The Gauge provides the industry with a holistic view of the content that audiences are watching, as well as when and by whom.

Links: Nielsen