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The Gauge Shows Streaming is Taking a Seat at the Table

3 minute read | June 2021

The pandemic was the 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 recently launched The Gauge, Nielsen’s new monthly total TV and streaming snapshot, shows that streaming usage across all television homes has climbed to 26% of all time spent on TV. Streaming and broadcast now account for half of television time, with usage split evenly between the two channels.

The Gauge Nielsen's Total TV and Streaming Snapshot

“The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape. Even as people begin to dive back into their pre-pandemic activities, based on the changes many made to enable streaming coupled with the variety of newly introduced services, 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,” says Brian Fuhrer, SVP, Product Strategy at Nielsen.

Hear from Brian on how the television landscape is shifting, how this total streaming and TV snapshot might evolve over time with the emergence, launch and potential consumer adoption of additional streaming services and what this might mean for content creators and advertisers.


Learn more about why The Gauge is an important step towards Nielsen’s cross-platform measurement.


The Gauge is a monthly interval showing the Total Usage of Television (TUT) for Broadcast, Streaming, Cable and Other with a Streaming channel drill down.

  • All other TV includes: The primary components of this are AOT (ALL Other Tuning), VOD, Streaming through a cable set top box, Gaming, and other device (DVD Playback) use. 
  • Other streaming is any high bandwidth (video) streaming to the television not listed.
  • Statistics: Share by category, Share of TUT broken out for Streaming Distributors

Streaming via Cable Set Top Boxes does not credit to the respective streaming distributors, but instead is included in the “All Other” group.

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 National TV panel that are enabled with the Streaming Meter, while linear sources as well as total usage are based on viewing from the overall TV panel.

Encoded linear streaming is reflected in both the linear (broadcast, cable) group as well as under the respective linear streaming app (e.g. Hulu Live, Youtube TV, Other Streaming MVPD/vMVPD apps)

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