Viewing of traditional television services fell below half of television viewing in the United States for the first time, as online video services accounted for a record 38.7% of viewing. Online video viewing has increased by 25% in a year, gaining 7.3% in its share of viewing.
The figures from the Nielsen monthly report The Gauge provide an overview of television viewing in the United States.
The report shows that YouTube, not including the YouTube TV multichannel services, increased its share to 9.2% of all television viewing.
Netflix increased its share to 8.5% of viewing, ahead of Hulu with 3.6% and Amazon Prime Video at 3.4%.
Broadcast channels accounted for 20% of viewing, while the cable category, which represents subscription channels, made up 29.6%. Both represented record low shares. Together they accounted for 49.6% of viewing, which was for the first time less than half of reported viewing.
In a year, broadcast viewing has fallen by 5.4% or by 1.5% of share, and cable viewing is down 12.5% or by 4.8% of share.
That is despite changes to the Nielsen methodology earlier in the year, which removed linear multichannel viewing from the ‘streaming’ category, so that the numbers for YouTube and Hulu reflect their on-demand services without their multichannel offerings YouTube TV and Hulu Live.
While one can debate the details of the reporting, The Gauge has charted the relentless rise of online video viewing in the United States. It has gone from 31.5% to viewing to 38.7% of viewing in a year, which is a significant shift.
On the other hand, traditional channels still account for half of viewing. Netflix remains the market leader in online video subscription services, but it still only accounts for 8.5% of viewing and is apparently still watched less than YouTube.