Linear TV Falls Below 50 Percent of Viewing for First Time

Broadcast and cable networks made up less than half of all TV use in July — the first time linear TV viewing has fallen below 50 percent in Nielsen’s two-plus years of tracking viewing time by platform.

While overall TV use in July edged up from the previous month, the growth came in streaming — which hit an all-time high of 38.7 percent of all TV usage — and the “other use” category, which includes video games played on a TV screen and physical media playback, among other things. That made up 11.6 percent of usage.

Streaming was up from 37.7 percent of TV viewing in June, marking its third consecutive month of an increased share of viewers’ time. July was also the third straight month that streaming’s share of TV use hit a high.

As for linear TV, broadcast networks fell to just 20 percent of viewing in July (vs. 20.8 percent in June). Cable came in at 29.6 percent, down from 30.6 percent the previous month. For both, it was a low point since Nielsen began releasing its monthly platform rankings, which it calls the Gauge, in June 2021. In those first monthly rankings, broadcast and cable accounted for 63.6 percent of all TV use in the United States, whereas now it’s at 49.6 percent.

Streaming, meanwhile, has grown from about a 26 percent share of viewing in June 2021 to 38.7 percent in July — a 48 percent jump.

Among individual streamers, YouTube (not including its YouTube TV service) led the way as usual with 9.2 percent of all TV use, followed by Netflix at 8.5 percent. Fox’s AVOD service Tubi had its best month to date with 1.4 percent of all use, tied with Max.

Acquired series led the streaming bump in July, with Suits on Netflix and Peacock accounting for more than 18 billion minutes of viewing during the month — about the same amount of viewing time as Stranger Things had in July 2022. Disney+’s Bluey had about 5 billion minutes of viewing for the month.

Nielsen’s Gauge rankings for July 2023 are below.


Streaming: 38.7 percent of TV usage
Cable: 29.6 percent
Broadcast: 20 percent
Other: 11.6 percent

Streaming Services

YouTube: 9.2 percent of total TV usage
Netflix: 8.5 percent
Hulu: 3.6 percent
Prime Video: 3.4 percent
Disney+: 2 percent
Max: 1.4 percent
Tubi: 1.4 percent
Peacock: 1.1 percent
Roku Channel: 1.1 percent
Paramount+: 1 percent
Pluto TV: 0.9 percent
All others: 5.1 percent

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