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State of the Screens

Nielsen Gauge: Streaming Percentage Up, Overall Usage Down

By September 23, 2022No Comments


Four big questions re: how we watch video:
1) What share of our leisure time is spent watching TV?
2) Is streaming growing as a share of total TV time?
3) What content do viewers default to first?
4) What impact is fragmentation having on ratings/viewership?

Flashback: Nielsen Gauge: Streaming Takes Over Top Spot

Big question #1: What share of our leisure time is spent watching TV?

Quick answer: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend 55% of their leisure time watching TV.


Worth your time: Entertainment Strategy Guy released a five-part series breaking down The American Viewer.

Big question #2: Is streaming growing as a share of total TV time?

Quick answer: Yes.

Share of total TV time according to Nielsen:
1) Streaming – 35%
 Cable – 35%
3) Broadcast – 22%
4) Other – 8%

Share of total TV time (video only) according to Nielsen:
1) Streaming – 38%
2) Cable – 38%
3) Broadcast – 24%

Streaming share of total TV time (YoY growth):
1) 2019-Q4 – 19%
2) 2022-Aug – 35% ( 84%)


YoY change in total TV time:
1) Streaming –  25%
2) Broadcast –  8%
3) Cable –  9%


YoY growth rate for streaming:
1) May –  23%
2) June –  25%
3) July –  24%
3) August –  25%

Big question #3: What content do viewers default to first?

First source for watching TV according to Hub Entertainment Research:
1) Live TV (through pay-TV) – 41%
2) Netflix – 23%
3) Hulu – 6%
4) OTA/Antenna – 5%
5) Amazon Prime Video – 5%


Big question #4: What impact is fragmentation having on ratings/viewership?

Quick answer: Non-sports viewership for broadcast networks has dropped 33% over the past 5 years.

Quote from Bob Iger – Formers Chairman and CEO @ Disney:

Traditional TV is “marching to a great precipice, and it will be pushed off.”

Quick math for change in attention available for the average show since 2012:
1) Time spent w/ video –  7%
2) # of original shows –  166%
3) TV households –  5%
4) Average time/show –  60%


Quote from Michael Thorn – President of Entertainment @ Fox:
“If you look at the biggest streamers, collectively they launched more than 2,000 series, and of those, approximately 15% were seen by a million people.”

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.