June 20, 2021
Netflix co-founder/co-CEO Reed Hastings has made a career thinking outside the box. But when it comes to quantifying streaming video on the household TV, Hastings apparently opts for old-school Nielsen — a brand synonymous with broadcast ratings.
Responding to Nielsen’s June 18 market report that found streaming video use across all television homes in May climbed to 26% of total viewer spent watching TV, Hastings seemed surprised that pay-TV and broadcast combined still dominate viewership time.
Indeed, Netflix captured just 6% of total TV viewing time, on par with YouTube TV, but ahead of Hulu (3%), Amazon Prime Video (2%) and Disney+ (1%).
“Wild that most TV time in USA is still legacy linear,” Hastings tweeted on social media. “Stream team needs to up its game.”
Hastings added that he wished HBO Max was included in the results. Max is noticeably absent from Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 streaming charts, which include Disney+, Prime Video and Hulu — and is regularly dominated by SVOD pioneer Netflix.
“@jasonkilar we need you on the board too,” Hastings tweeted in reference to WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar.
Kilar, the founding CEO of Hulu, responded (with lots emojis) that WarnerMedia was indeed represented in the Nielsen chart, albeit in dominating linear TV. Kilar, who plans to remain in his position into 2022 following Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia, said HBO Max has been the strongest growing domestic SVOD service in 2021.
HBO and HBO Max ended the most-recent fiscal period with 44 million combined subscribers, including 11.1 million Max subs since the service launched a year ago.