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Streaming Accounts for Just 30% of U.S. TV Screen Time

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

When Netflix reported its first-ever subscriber drop in its latest earnings report, the company went into some detail on how it sees its growth prospects in the longer term. Among other things, the company shared an interesting piece of information with respect to its position in the competitive landscape in the United States: Netflix's share of total TV viewing in the U.S. has been "steady to up," the company said quoting Nielsen data, despite the launch of several new streaming services.

Perhaps more importantly though, streaming as a whole is still at the beginning of the road, despite commanding a fair share of the conversation surrounding TV content, especially among younger audiences. According to a monthly Nielsen report called “The Gauge”, streaming accounted for just 30 percent of total TV screen time in March 2022, with linear TV (i.e. cable and broadcast) still dominating video consumption on the big screen. While cable is still far ahead of streaming at 37 percent of TV usage, broadcast has actually been overtaken, accounting for just 25 percent of TV consumption.

Breaking down the streaming total by individual service reveals how much room to grow there still is for Netflix, YouTube and the like. At 7 percent of TV screen time, Netflix is the leader of the streaming pack, ahead of YouTube (6 percent) and Hulu (3 percent). “Considering that we are less mature in other countries and that this excludes mobile screens (where we believe our share of engagement is even lower), we are confident that we have a long runway for growth,” Netflix wrote in a letter to shareholders last July. Looking at the age gap in TV consumption, the future does indeed look bright for streaming services.

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