Nielsen: Streaming Video Still Lags Behind Pay-TV, Broadcast Use

It may be an over-the-top video ecosystem, but combined legacy pay-TV and broadcast use continues to dominate U.S. households, according to new data from Nielsen.

Driven largely by live sports (up 7%), including college football bowl games, the cable television market share in December 2021 held steady at 37.2%, while broadcast tracked at 26.1% among households with at least two people. That compared with 27.7% for streaming video households, led by Netflix with 6.4% market share — just ahead of YouTube at 5.8%.

Notably, the “other streaming” category topped all streamers with 8.9% market share, driven by video games and packaged media, including DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

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Like in November, Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen, attributed the strong linear TV use to the winter holidays and increased numbers of consumers, including children, with excess free time on their hands.

That trend, however, changed during the Christmas week, when U.S. consumers’ streaming usage reached 183 billion minutes, up almost 3% from 178 billion minutes streamed over the Thanksgiving week. Indeed, streaming topped 33% market share during Christmas week.

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