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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Streaming now accounts for nearly 20% of television consumption for most Americans, almost doubling since 2018, a new report from Nielsen shows.

Why it matters: The data shows how quickly consumers are flocking to streaming as a replacement or complement to traditional TV.

Details: Per the report, Netflix accounts for a whopping 31% of streaming time — the largest share of any service — followed by YouTube (21%), Hulu (12%) and Amazon Prime (8%).

  • To no surprise, younger consumers aged 18-34 are most likely to subscribe to several streaming services, and spend the most amount of their TV time streaming.
  • But the vast majority (87%) of older adults 65 years and older subscribe to at least one streamer as well, per the study, demonstrating a societal shift in how television is consumed.

Be smart: Nearly half of U.S. viewers subscribe to three or more steaming services, and that number could increase as streaming becomes even more popular.

  • While one study has suggested that the average American is willing to pay around $42 monthly for streaming services, Nielsen found most consumers (93%) are willing to increase the amount of streaming services they pay for, or at the very least, keep the ones they currently have.
Expand chart
Total Audience Report Reproduced from The Nielsen Total Audience Report, February 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

The big picture: Last year saw one of the sharpest increases in cord-cutting ever, with almost 1.5 million video subscribers from the four biggest pay-TV providers cutting the cord, according to senior media analyst Michael Nathanson.

  • That's roughly 300,000 worse than what was expected and roughly 700,000 worse than the previous year.
  • A majority of U.S. households (73%) now have access to an internet-connected video device where they can stream video, per Nielsen, making it easier for users to find a video alternative once they do finally cut the cord.

Yes, but: As more streaming platforms emerge to compete for consumers' attention and budgets, the burden is falling on consumers to navigate an overwhelming number of streaming choices.

  • More than 646,000 shows were available in the U.S. across both linear and streaming services last year, a 10% increase from all of 2018, per the study.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”