Online television and video viewing had the highest share of television viewing in the United States in July, after four consecutive months of record online viewing. Online viewing has exceeded that of broadcast channels before, but it is the first time that it has also surpassed viewing of subscription television services, albeit by a margin of 0.4%. Combined viewing of broadcast and subscription television still exceeds all other forms of viewing on television.

Nielsen data show that viewers watched an average of 190.9 billion minutes of online video per week in July, exceeding the 169.9 billion minutes a week viewed during the pandemic lockdown period in April 2020. Other than the last week of 2021, July 2022 marks the highest volume of online video viewing so far.

Online video viewing on television grew by 3.2% from June, up 22.6% on the previous year. Streaming services represented 34.8% of all television viewing. Netflix alone accounted for 8% of television viewing across all individuals aged two or older, its highest share to date. Amazon accounted for 3.0% of viewing, its highest share so far, while YouTube rose from 6.9% of viewing in June to a record 7.3% in July.

Viewing of subscription television channels, which Nielsen refers to as cable, dropped 2% and was down 8.9% on the previous July, with viewing share down by 3.3% in a year at 34.4%.

Viewing of broadcast television channels fell to 21.6% of viewing, down 3.7% in volume and 0.8% in share on the previous month, and down 9.8% in volume and 2.3% in share compared to the same month the previous year.

Taken together, broadcast and subscription channels still accounted for 56% of all television viewing. With a further 3.9% of viewing on online multichannel services like Hulu Live and YouTube TV, that accounts for just under 60% of all television viewing.

Nielsen Gauge July 2022

The online share of television viewing has been growing steadily in the first half of 2022, from 28.7% in January to 34.8% in July.

Nielsen Gauge July 2021 - July 2022

Online viewing in July was boosted by a number of high-profile releases, while broadcast and subscription channels saw a reduction in live sports and new programming.

“The implication is clear,” said Brian Fuhrer of Nielsen, “Americans have not only embraced streaming, they are expanding what they are consuming on it.” With new sporting seasons beginning, he said: “The next two months are shaping up to be some of the most pivotal maybe in the history of the television industry.”