Time spent watching television climbed for the second consecutive month in October according to The Gauge, Nielsen’s monthly total TV and streaming snapshot. The 2.2% monthly increase in TV consumption was underpinned by the nearly 10% jump in broadcast viewing compared to September, bringing the category up to 26.0% of total TV usage and marking its largest share since February 2022. Streaming also grew in October to make up 37.3% of TV viewing, while cable’s share dropped to 32.9%. Overall TV usage was up 2.8% compared to one year ago.
For the second consecutive month, and in line with historical trends for this time of year, the broadcast category showed the largest month-over-month increase in viewing volume (+9.8%) and share (+1.8 points) across all categories in The Gauge. While broadcast sports viewing in October increased 19% compared to September and accounted for over 25% of broadcast usage, viewing of the General Drama genre saw a 42% jump to make up nearly 27% of usage.
Compared to one year ago, broadcast viewing volume decreased 6.2% and the category was down 2.5 share points. Additionally, broadcast news viewing was up by over 15% compared to the same month last year.
Cable lost nearly a full share point (-0.9) in October due to being the only category in The Gauge to remain fairly flat (-0.7%) versus September. Cable news viewing increased 3.3% in October and remained the largest cable genre at 19.6%. Cable sports saw the highest increase in viewing (+25%) compared to last month and represented 9.6% of cable’s share.
Making up 32.9% of total TV in October, cable’s share of television has consistently declined every month since March 2022. On a year-over-year basis, cable viewing was down 8.6% and the category lost 4.1 share points. A yearly comparison also shows that cable news and cable sports viewing were up 8.4% and 4.8%, respectively, versus October 2021.
Despite observing a slower month of growth in October compared to previous months, the streaming category continued to trend upward, exhibiting a 3.3% monthly increase in viewing volume and adding 0.4 share points to represent 37.3% of television. Streaming usage grew by 35.1% compared to the same month one year ago, and the category gained 8.9 share points.
The month-to-month consistency of most streaming services called out in The Gauge contributed to another month of growth for the category:
- Viewing on Disney+ increased nearly 7% versus September and added 0.1 share point.
- Hulu usage was up 5%, adding 0.1 share point.
- Viewing on YouTube increased over 8% this month and added 0.5 share point.
- Both Hulu and YouTube benefited from the surge in broadcast viewing this month by way of their linear streaming components which made up 12.3% and 14.6% of each services’ share, respectively.
Viewing of linear television on MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors) and vMVPDs (virtual multichannel video programming distributors) apps represented 5.7% of total television usage and 15.4% of streaming usage in October. Broadcast and cable content viewed through linear streaming apps also credits its respective category. PR Newswire