Streaming Now Accounts For 25% Of U.S. TV Usage

As of this year’s second quarter, streaming now accounts for a quarter of all television minutes viewed, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report.

That’s a significant leap from streaming’s 19% share of TV minutes in last year’s fourth quarter.

Americans watched an average of 142.5 billion weekly streaming minutes in Q2, versus 81.7 million hours in the second quarter of 2019.

Netflix continued to lead in streaming market share in Q2, with 34%, followed by YouTube at 20%, Hulu at 11%, Amazon at 8%, and Disney+ — just eight months old — already at 4%.

The statistics are based on data from Nielsen’s Streaming Meter, a subset of nearly 1,000 streaming-capable homes from the company’s national TV panel.

The research also confirms that Americans of all ages are embracing streaming.

Notably, those 55 and older now account for 26% of streaming TV minutes viewed — up from 19% just a year ago.

Given how the overall base of total streaming minutes has also grown during that time, “this represents a significant shift among what was already the heaviest television viewing group,” notes the report. “It may have taken them longer to embrace the technology, but now that they have, there is no indication they are going to give up streaming in the future."

At least through Q2, the number of subscription-based streaming services that consumers are willing to pay for also continued to grow, according to Nielsen’s survey.

Among those who subscribe to at least one paid subscription video service, 25% reported adding more such services; 73% said the number was unchanged; and just 2% reported reducing the number.


Hispanics were significantly more likely than average to report adding new paid services (40%), while Asian-Americans were least likely to do so (19%).

“COVID-19 has catapulted streaming to become the present and future of content creation,” summed up Peter Katsingris, Nielsen’s senior vice president, audience insights.

“With the number of new streaming entities coming to market and the demand for both original and legacy content growing by the day, it will be interesting to see how the streaming market evolves in the coming months,” sums up the report.

The latest report also offers a detailed look at media consumption behaviors relating to the new work-at-home dynamics.

For example, the results show all adults (18 and older) and those who were already working from home prior to COVID-19 spending about 10.5 to nearly 11 hours per day using TV and digital, while those newly working from home report somewhat lower usage:

1 comment about "Streaming Now Accounts For 25% Of U.S. TV Usage".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 13, 2020 at 10:56 a.m.

    Interesting that the second and third ranked streaming brands are "other" with 23% and YouTube with 20%. I wonder what kinds of content these brands are presenting that is garnering so much consumption? Presumably much of it is not what might be described as "premium" in quality.

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