Even with recent price increases and password-sharing crackdowns, streaming is still on the rise. New data from Nielsen shows that for the month of July 2023, streaming set record highs while linear TV -- aka traditional broadcast and cable -- fell to record lows.
In terms of television usage for July, streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+ accounted for 38.7% of total time -- the largest to date. At the same time, linear television came in at 49.6%, the first time it's ever fallen below 50%.
This data comes from Nielsen's monthly report, "The Gauge," which provides an overview of media consumption for the prior month.
Within the streaming category, YouTube was the most popular service, accounting for just over 9% of total time watched. Netflix was right behind at 8%, but there was a sharp dropoff for third place, with Hulu making up 3.6%. Amazon Prime was in fourth place at 3.4%, and Disney+ rounded out the top five with 2.0%. For YouTube, Netflix, and Prime, those viewing shares were all record individual highs.
The most popular programs on the streaming side of things were Suits (which is on Netflix and Peacock) and Bluey (Disney+). Suits accounted for 18 billion viewing minutes, while Bluey notched 5 million.
Cable television accounted for 29.6% of viewing, and when coupled with broadcast's 20%, it put linear television at just under 50% overall. On the year, cable was down 12.5% and broadcast was down 5.4%.
ABC World News Tonight was the most popular broadcast/cable program, with Major League Baseball's All-Star game taking the second spot.
While it's not surprising that streaming is on the rise and linear television is on the decline, is it a bit of a surprise to see that traditional television still accounts for fully half of usage. Streaming is certainly more popular than ever, but it still had a way to go to catch up with "old school" television.