Streaming surpasses cable as top way to consume TV
Streaming has officially topped cable as the most popular method by which Americans consume television content, according to new data from Nielsen.
Why it matters: Just as cable's victory over broadcast ushered in waves of change to U.S. media, streaming's rise will continue to bring new businesses and cultural forces to the fore.
Details: Streaming now makes up more than one-third of all television consumption in the U.S., according to data from Nielsen's monthly Gauge study of TV consumption.
- Netflix continues to be the top streaming platform, taking 7.7% of total share of TV consumption in July. YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ increased their share of viewing time last month to 7.3%, 3% and 1.8%, respectively, while HBO Max held steady at 1%.
Yes, but: Traditional TV, which includes both cable and broadcast consumption, still collectively makes up the majority of TV viewing in the U.S., for now.
- But if the rate of these categories' decline continues, streaming could very well surpass traditional television as the primary way Americans consumer TV content in the next few years.
- While the total amount of TV consumption has remained consistent in the past year, the amount that Americans have streamed has increased 22.6%, compared to declines in cable and broadcast of 8.9% and 9.8%, respectively.
What to watch: With more live sports rights moving to streaming, that trend seems likely. Nielsen noted that sports viewing drove the biggest decline for cable.