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Streaming video viewing will surpass cable TV before the end of this year

Streaming video viewing will surpass cable TV before the end of this year

Nielsen’s Gauge report, which measures viewership across video platforms each month, shows the continued shift in audiences from cable TV to streaming video. Back in June 2021, cable TV accounted for 40.1% of all video viewing, one year later cable’s share had fallen by five points to 35.1%. Conversely, in June 2022, streaming video exceeded one-third (33.7%) of all video viewing for the first time; a significant increase from the 27.4% share just one year ago. Viewership for streaming video has risen every month since March, increasing by four percentage points during that time. The share of broadcast TV was 22.4% in June, the lowest in the last twelve months.

Before the rise of streaming video, June had been among the lowest months for TV viewing. The TV season had ended with broadcasters airing repeats and lower costs without a script. Cable counter programmed with popular original scripted dramas, incl The closer and Monk. Despite lower TV usage levels, June was one of cable TV’s strongest months for audience share. With the onset of streaming video, that is no longer the case.

A key factor in the decline in cable share continues to be cord-cutting. Moffatt Nathanson reported that an additional 2.1 million subscribers dropped cable, satellite, telecom or virtual in the first quarter of 2022. The number of US households with a pay TV subscription has fallen to about 70 million from a peak of 100+ million a decade ago . In contrast, Kantar reported in the second quarter of 2022 that 113 million (88%) US households have video streaming service, a 2% increase from the first quarter. In addition, the average number of subscriptions per household increased, which was a total of five.

With more content and more subscribers, time spent streaming video continues to grow. Nielsen reports that in June time spent streaming video increased year-on-year by 23.5%. In addition to defying previous viewing habits, time spent with TV/video in June increased by 2% from May. As the 2021-22 TV season drew to a close, in June time spent on broadcast TV fell by 6.7% compared to May, resulting in a loss of two share points. One of the few bright spots on June’s broadcast was live sports, which posted a 44% increase with the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals both on ABC.

According to the June Gauge report, NetflixNFLX
Prime Video, Disney+ and YouTube (including YouTube TV) all achieved record audience shares. Despite its recent struggles, Netflix accounted for a 7.7% share of the audience, up nearly one point (6.8%) from May. Also, Netflix in June saw a 16.3% monthly increase in minutes compared to May. The fourth season of Stranger Things was a factor in the share increase. Since the launch of The Gauge Report, Netflix has been the most watched streaming video provider every month.

Additionally, month over month, Disney+ saw a 14.7% increase in sets; resulting in an increase of 0.2 shares. Lead by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney+ reached an all-time high in audience share of 2.0%. With the third season of The boys debuts June 3rd, Amazon Prime Video recorded an 11.1% increase in watched minutes, a 0.3 share increase. YouTube recorded a 5.2% monthly increase in views and a 0.2 share increase. With the continued increase in streaming share, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in a second-quarter earnings report, “It’s definitely the end of linear TV in the next five to 10 years.”

The only genre to maintain linear television viewership has been sports. In 2021, sports accounted for 95 of the 100 most watched TV programmes. Nevertheless, live sporting events are becoming more and more prevalent on streaming video, strengthening the platform’s audience share.

Amazon Prime Video will begin exclusively streaming NFL Thursday Night Football in September. Last year, TNF averaged 15.4 million viewers on FoxFOXA
, the second most watched program in prime time. In July, the NFL launched the highly anticipated NFL+ that will stream all preseason games and all local and nationally televised games on mobile devices for a monthly fee of $4.99. Apple TV+ recently entered into an agreement with MLS. to stream every game. Peacock and Apple TV+ also began streaming select MLB games this season. In addition, virtually every other live sporting event is now available on both linear TV and streaming. In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says, I think NFL media rights will move to a streaming service.”

Regional sports networks have often been cited as the primary, if not the only, reason for subscribers to maintain a pay-TV subscription, but that may be changing. In early June, NESN announced that it was launching a standalone streaming service NESN 360 that costs $30 each month. Later that month, Sinclair-owned Bally Sports launched its own streaming service in five markets at $20 per month. Other RSNs are looking at their own streaming service.

With media owners focusing more on streaming video than cable properties, the trend lines are clear, streaming will gain a higher audience share by fall and won’t look back.

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