Nielsen: September Streaming Video Use Reached Record Market Share — Thanks to Football

A record number of U.S. households streamed video in September, generating a leading 36.9% market share, compared with 33.8% market share for cable and 24.2% for broadcast — the latter seeing an uptick due to the return of college and NFL football, according to new data from Nielsen.

Despite a 222% increase in monthly sports viewing on broadcast channels, consumers continued to over-indulge on streaming video content, resulting in yet another monthly high-water mark. Users also expanded their choice of streaming service, with YouTube hitting a new platform-best streaming record, claiming 8% of TV viewing and equaling Netflix’s July record high. Hulu secured its own record of 3.7%, and Pluto TV capturing 1% of total TV, enabling it to be showcased outside of the “other streaming” category for the first time.

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HBO Max also gained 9.9% in volume thanks to the debut of “House of the Dragon” and renewed interest in catalog episodes of “Game of Thrones,” pushing its share of TV to 1.3%.

Meanwhile, increases in viewership did not affect total TV share for some streamers. Prime Video usage increased 3.9% in September on the strength of “The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” and “Thursday Night Football” games, but the platform’s share of total TV remained flat at 2.9%. Similarly, Disney+ saw a 2.4% increase in volume, yet its share of total TV stayed at 1.9%.

“The return of football was the true spark in September, as it provided new content across broadcast, cable and streaming,” Nielsen wrote in a post. “But even without sports, streaming—in all of its forms—continues to gain adoption, and it benefits from the emphasis that pure-play streamers and media companies alike are placing on it.”

NPD: September Video Game Sales Drop 8%

Sales of video game hardware and software continued their monthly decline, with September revenue down 8% to $1.27 billion compared with $1.39 billion from the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group.

“Year-to-date spending across tracked video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards has fallen 6% when compared to 2018, to $8.3 billion,” analyst Mat Piscatella said in video blog. “Declines in hardware spending have driven the decrease.”

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Indeed, sales of game consoles and handheld devices plummeted 22% to $240 million from $307 million last year. Hardware sales continue to be negatively impacted by Microsoft and Sony not releasing new edition consoles until the 2020 winter holidays.

Software sales dropped 4% to $732 million from $761 million in 2018. Accessories and game cards fell 7% to $308 million from $328 million last year.

Top-selling titles in the month based on revenue (not units)

  1. NBA 2K20
  2. Borderlands 3
  3. FIFA 20
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
  5. Madden NFL 20
  6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
  7. Gears 5
  8. Code Vein
  9. NHL 20
  10. Mario Kart 8
  11. Minecraft
  12. Grand Theft Auto V
  13. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  14. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  15. Red Dead Redemption II
  16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  17. Plants vs Zombies: Battle For Neighborville
  18. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  19. Catherine
  20. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild