Streaming Content Is Growing, But Broadcast, Cable Still Tops

While 56% of U.S. adults stream nonlinear content to their TVs, Nielsen says actual TV usage has “yet to truly live up to the buzz.”

Nielsen’s May 2019 Local Watch Report says streamers spend two hours and 32 minutes watching broadcast and cable network content by source. They spend 57 minutes watching content from an internet-connected device. 

Over 80% of adult streamers watch linear broadcast stations, and almost 90% watch linear cable networks.

Adults streaming -- totaling 56%, with an average age of 62 -- are defined as viewing at least one minute of streaming content through an internet-connected device. This includes Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV or via an app/web on a smart TV.



Streaming via a game console is excluded.

By way of comparison, non-streamers spend four hours and 26 minutes viewing broadcast and cable. Non-streamers are defined as adults -- averaging 50 years old -- who are not exposed to any streaming content on an internet-connected device. They total 44% of all TV users.

Adults streamers' usage -- according to a TV content source --  breaks down this way: one hour/37 minutes with cable content; 57 minutes via an internet-connected device; 55 minutes with broadcast; 31 minutes, time-shifted TV; 12 minutes, game console; 10 minutes, other TV (uncoded TV content, not broadcast/cable); and three minutes, DVD/Blu-ray. This totals four hours/28 minutes.

For adult non-streamers: two hours/35 minutes on cable-sourced content; one hour/51, broadcast; 33 minutes, time-shifted content; 14 minutes, other TV; 10 minutes, game console, and four minutes, DVD/Blu-ray.

The report adds that TV households in LPM (local people meter) markets -- about 50% of all U.S. households -- spend the most time streaming non-linear content to their TVs. The top five markets for streaming time per day are Cleveland, two hours/29 minutes; Orlando, two hours/26 minutes; Charlotte, two hours/23 minutes; Dallas, two hours/22 minutes; and Phoenix, two hours/11 minutes.

Nielsen says: “Given streaming engagement among LPM [local people meter] households, local stations in these markets would be wise to consider streaming as an opportunity instead of a challenge -- and double down on their OTT strategies.”

It adds that in the second quarter of 2019, content from streaming players accounted for approximately 70% to 80% of all TV streaming activity.

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