Nielsen's New 'Gauge' Metric Shows Streaming Tops Broadcast For Viewers 2 And Up

Nielsen's new total TV usage metric -- The Gauge -- shows what many have suspected: Streaming TV time has not only showed rocketing growth, but now has topped one major traditional TV platform: broadcast TV.

The Gauge is a new tool that compares Total Usage of Television (TUT) among broadcast, cable and streaming categories. Nielsen says data for The Gauge is derived from two separately weighted panels -- its national TV panel and streaming video ratings.

Nielsen says streaming, across all TV homes, now has a 26% share of total day usage of television among persons 2-years-old and older, while broadcast is at 25% share.

But streaming isn’t the biggest platform in terms of total time.

The top honor goes to cable TV, with a 39% share. The "other" category is at 9% share, which Nielsen says includes video-on-demand, streaming through a cable set-top-box, gaming, and other devices, such as DVD machine use.



Breaking down streaming categories by app/platform:

Netflix and YouTube (including virtual pay TV provider, YouTube TV) each have a 6% share. Hulu (including Hulu + Live TV ) is at 3%; Amazon Prime Video, 2%; and Disney+, 1%. Another 8% of streaming time is in the “other” category.

In a tweet, Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, says that while the 26% share for streaming is an eye-opening number, streaming "ad-supported" platforms only comprise a 4% share.

Streaming data comes from a subset of TV households in its national TV panel enabled with the streaming meter. Linear sources, as well as total usage, are based on viewing from the overall TV panel.

Nielsen says “linear streaming” is reflected in both the broadcast and cable categories as well as in the “streaming” section, per app (Hulu Live, YouTube TV, and other).

2 comments about "Nielsen's New 'Gauge' Metric Shows Streaming Tops Broadcast For Viewers 2 And Up".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 18, 2021 at 1:22 p.m.

    Dave, that 4% share of all viewing for AVOD "platforms", if accurate, makes them equal to a large broadcast TV network on an all-daypart basis---which isn't bad---but needs to get larger. Translated into gross ad dollars---assuming that lower ad clutter but higher CPMs cancel each other out this should be big enough to support about $4-5 billion in annual ad revenue.

  2. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, June 18, 2021 at 5:44 p.m.

    Given all the discussion, the fact that all ad supported VOD is equal to one broadcast net has to be a surprise.  What we are seeing here, as much as anything, is a flight to a small number of low cost subscription services -- like Netflix and Amazon -- who are happy at operating ad free with lower profit margins than traditional broadcasters.  

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