Nielsen: May Streaming Edged Broadcast, But Not Pay-TV

New data from Nielsen, the TV ratings pioneer, found that streaming video use across all television homes in May climbed to 26% of all time spent on TV. Streaming and broadcast now account for more than 50% of television time, with usage split evenly between the two channels.

Notably, pay-TV, despite ongoing consumer defections, remained consumers’ top choice for TV viewing in May with 39% of Nielsen’s “The Gauge” snapshot. That compared with 6% for Netflix.

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The data underscores further evidence how the pandemic has been a catalyst for streaming services, which gained traction amongst a broader range of consumers. Over the last year, several traditional media companies dove into the streaming space, taking advantage of their vast video libraries and launching just in time to provide consumers in lockdown with more binge-worthy content.

“The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy, said in a statement. “Even as people begin to dive back into their pre-pandemic activities … we expect people to keep sampling and exploring their options.  Maybe just as importantly, as production ramps back up, new content will enter the space, driving additional traction.”

Nielsen said its data used is derived from two separately weighted panels and combined to create the infographic.  Streaming data comes from a subset of TV households in the company’s national TV panel that are enabled with Nielsen’s “streaming meter,” while linear TV sources as well as total usage are based on viewing from the overall TV panel.

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