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Report: US TV viewing surged in November

December 16, 2022

Nielsen’s latest report from The Gauge, the media measurement company’s monthly snapshot of total TV and streaming usage in the US, revealed that time spent watching television climbed considerably in November, marking the second-highest month of overall TV consumption in 2022, behind January.

The Gauge reported five days in November with over 100 billion minutes of TV viewing, including Thanksgiving Day (November 24th) when audiences spent nearly 106 billion minutes in front of television screens. Thanksgiving ranked as the #2 most-watched day of TV so far in 2022, second to January 16th which racked up over 107 billion minutes that were largely driven by three NFL Wild Card games.

Overall TV usage climbed 7.8 per cent from October, and viewing volume was up for all categories across The Gauge on a monthly basis. Streaming saw the largest monthly increase in November with a 10.2 per cent bump in usage, which brought the category to 38.2 per cent of total TV viewing and set another record share for the digital format. Compared with November 2021, streaming usage grew by 41.2 per cent and the category gained 9.7 share points.

From a streaming platform perspective, Netflix, HBO Max and YouTube all achieved double-digit viewing increases in November, up 13.1 per cent, 12.2 per cent and 11.8 per cent, respectively versus October. Netflix also saw the most significant monthly increase in share (+0.4) to finish November with 7.6 per cent of TV.

Viewing of linear television on MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) and vMVPD (virtual multichannel video programming distributor) apps represented 5.8 per cent of total television usage and 15.2 per cent of streaming usage in November (compared with 5.7 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively, in October). YouTube TV accounted for 15.4 per cent of YouTube viewing (1.4 share points), and Hulu Live made up 12 per cent of Hulu viewing (0.5 share points). Broadcast and cable content viewed through linear streaming apps also credits the respective category.

Broadcast usage rose 6.7 per cent from October, but due to the large increase in total television usage, its share of TV dropped slightly (-0.3 points) to 25.7 per cent. Primarily driven by NFL programming, World Cup coverage, and four World Series games, broadcast sports viewing jumped 10.2 per cent and accounted for the largest share (32 per cent) of the category’s viewing total. Broadcast news viewing was also up 14.6 per cent compared with October, and viewing to the drama genre declined by over 12 per cent.

Total broadcast viewing in November was fairly similar compared with the same month one year ago (-0.7 per cent), and from a share perspective, broadcast lost 1.6 share points. Additionally, broadcast sports viewing was down 5.6 per cent on the year, while broadcast news viewing was up 19 per cent.

Cable gained the smallest amount of monthly growth among viewing categories in The Gauge (+4.2 per cent) and ended November with 31.8 per cent of total TV usage, representing a monthly loss of 1.1 share points. The increase in cable viewing was driven by the feature film genre, which climbed 32.7 per cent to make up 18.7 per cent of cable’s total, and cable news (+1.4 per cent on volume), which remained the top genre for the category with 18.9 per cent.

On a year-over-year basis, time spent watching cable content declined 9.3 per cent and the category lost 5.1 share points. A yearly comparison also shows that cable sports and cable news viewing were up 19.6 per cent and 17.6 per cent, respectively, versus November 2021.

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research

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