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Report: Streaming 37% of US TV viewing in October

November 18, 2022

Time spent watching television climbed for the second consecutive month in the US during October according to The Gauge, Nielsen’s monthly total TV and streaming snapshot. The 2.2 per cent monthly increase in TV consumption was underpinned by the nearly 10 per cent jump in broadcast viewing compared to September, bringing the category up to 26 per cent of total TV usage and marking its largest share since February 2022. Streaming also grew in October to make up 37.3 per cent of TV viewing, while cable’s share dropped to 32.9 per cent. Overall TV usage was up 2.8 per cent compared to one year ago.

For the second consecutive month, and in line with historical trends for this time of year, the broadcast category showed the largest month-over-month increase in viewing volume (+9.8 per cent) and share (+1.8 points) across all categories in The Gauge. While broadcast sports viewing in October increased 19 per cent compared to September and accounted for over 25 per cent of broadcast usage, viewing of the General Drama genre saw a 42 per cent jump to make up nearly 27 per cent of usage.

Compared to one year ago, broadcast viewing volume decreased 6.2 per cent and the category was down 2.5 share points. Additionally, broadcast news viewing was up by over 15 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Cable lost nearly a full share point (-0.9) in October due to being the only category in The Gauge to remain fairly flat (-0.7 per cent) versus September. Cable news viewing increased 3.3 per cent in October and remained the largest cable genre at 19.6 per cent. Cable sports saw the highest increase in viewing (+25 per cent) compared to last month and represented 9.6 per cent of cable’s share.

Making up 32.9 per cent of total TV in October, cable’s share of television has consistently declined every month since March 2022. On a year-over-year basis, cable viewing was down 8.6 per cent and the category lost 4.1 share points. A yearly comparison also shows that cable news and cable sports viewing were up 8.4 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively, versus October 2021.

Despite observing a slower month of growth in October compared to previous months, the streaming category continued to trend upward, exhibiting a 3.3 per cent monthly increase in viewing volume and adding 0.4 share points to represent 37.3 per cent of television. Streaming usage grew by 35.1 per cent compared to the same month one year ago, and the category gained 8.9 share points.

The month-to-month consistency of most streaming services called out in The Gauge contributed to another month of growth for the category:

  • Viewing on Disney+ increased nearly 7 per cent versus September and added 0.1 share point.
  • Hulu usage was up 5 per cent, adding 0.1 share point.
  • Viewing on YouTube increased over 8 per cent this month and added 0.5 share point.
  • Both Hulu and YouTube benefited from the surge in broadcast viewing this month by way of their linear streaming components which made up 12.3 per cent and 14.6 per cent of each services’ share, respectively.

Streaming Service

Share of Overall TV

Viewing VolumeYoY Change

October 2021

October 2022


1.4 %

2.0 %

+ 46.5 %

Hulu (incl. Hulu Live)

3.2 %

4.0 %

+ 28.3 %


6.8 %

7.2 %

+ 9.1 %

Prime Video

2.1 %

2.8 %

+ 35.0 %

YouTube (incl. YouTube TV)

5.8 %

8.5 %

+ 50.1 %

This chart only includes streaming services that have been reported in The Gauge for 12 months or more as of October 2022. Source: Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings.

Viewing of linear television on MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) and vMVPDs (virtual multichannel video programming distributors) apps represented 5.7 per cent of total television usage and 15.4 per cent of streaming usage in October. Broadcast and cable content viewed through linear streaming apps also credits its respective category.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, OTT, Research, VOD

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