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Streaming climbs to new heights again in April despite a dip in total TV viewing

3 minute read | May 2022

Audiences spent more than 30% of their total TV time with streaming; HBO Max captures 1%

April marked yet another milestone for streaming, as audiences spent more than 30% of their total TV time watching over-the-top video content. This is the first time streaming has eclipsed 30% of total TV usage. The increased share was backed by almost the same volume of streaming as in March, despite a 2.1% dip in total TV viewing, which is seasonally reflective of usage at the start of spring.

As we’ve been tracking, the growth of the streaming industry has welcomed an array of new entrants, each with their own roster of content offerings. That growth is reflected in the rising engagement with the “other streaming” category, which has gained more than two full share points since Nielsen debuted The Gauge with May 2021 TV viewing data. And in April, HBO Max grew its share to 1%, the threshold for stand-alone representation in the chart below. 

While streaming volume was flat on a month-over-month basis, both broadcast and cable saw a decrease in viewing by 3% and 2.5%, respectively. Broadcast viewing was reflective of 14.7% less drama viewing and a 38.2% drop in sports viewing. The dip in cable viewing was reflective of a 16.9% decline in news viewing, which was somewhat balanced by a 17% increase in sports, fueled by the viewing of the NCAA basketball finals and NBA.

Take me to the methodology details below.

Watch the video to hear Brian Fuhrer, SVP, Product Strategy at Nielsen provide a behind the scenes look at some of the viewing changes underpinning The Gauge.



The Gauge provides a monthly macroanalysis of how consumers are accessing content across key television delivery platforms, including Broadcast, Streaming, Cable and Other sources. It also includes a breakdown of the major, individual streaming distributors. The chart itself shows the share by category and of total television usage by individual streaming distributors.

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