A new measure of viewing in the United States shows usage across delivery platforms, aggregated and ranked by media company. It shows that Disney accounted for the most television viewing, followed by YouTube. Netflix ranked sixth. This aggregation of video viewing puts online distribution direct to the consumer in context.

The Media Distributor Gauge from Nielsen maps all the national media distributors, including online services, up to their parent company. The total minutes viewed on the television screen are then aggregated by parent company to determine their share of total television usage.

Nielsen Distributor Gauge 2024 April

The new measure will complement the widely reported and sometimes maligned monthly Gauge report that breaks out viewing by broadcast, cable, streaming, and other viewing.

Nielsen Gauge 2024 April

“With more programs available across platforms, it’s vital for creators, advertisers and the industry at large to understand what and where audiences are watching,” said Karthik Rao, the chief executive of Nielsen. “The Media Distributor Gauge is a perfect complement to The Gauge and serves as the first convergent TV comparison of its kind. Together, these reports paint the most complete picture of TV viewing today, which is critical as we head into the Upfront.”

The distributor gauge, basically a bar chart, shows that in April 2024 the Walt Disney Company accounted for 11.5% of total television usage, of which 3.1% was attributable to viewing on Hulu and 1.8% to Disney+.

YouTube was the second largest media company by this measure, although it does not produce its own programming. It had a 9.6% share of television viewing in April.

Traditional media companies NBCUniversal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. Discovery ranked below these, at 8.9%, 8.8% and 8.1% of viewing respectively.

Netflix was sixth with 7.6% of television viewing, ahead of Fox with 6.1%, and Amazon Prime Video at 3.2%.

The top 10 distributors made up 67.6% of all viewing, with Netflix and Amazon accounting for 1.8% between them.

Nielsen has released numbers for each of the last six months. Although there is some consistency over time, there is some variation in the rankings. In January, for instance, Disney, NBCUniversal, and Paramount had the top three slots, ahead of YouTube and Netflix.

The distributor version puts in perspective the numbers that Nielsen has previously reported for online video services, which collectively account for 38.4% of television viewing in the United States.

It shows that Disney has the largest share of viewing, but comparatively little of this is attributable to Disney+. Most of its viewing is still from traditional television networks, including ABC.

NBCUniversal, part of Comcast, which includes NBC in its universe, had the third largest share of viewing, but only 1.3% comes from Peacock.

Paramount, which includes CBS in its portfolio, had the fourth largest share, but only 1.0% comes from Paramount+.