Heavy sports programming and the looming midterm elections drove up overall TV usage in October. Streaming remained viewers’ favorite delivery method for the month, with broadcast outlets growing but cable’s share falling slightly.
Nielsen’s monthly snapshot of TV usage shows streaming platform dominance 36.3% of US watch time , higher than 40.9% . According to Nielsen, streaming has grown for eight consecutive months and leads all platforms for four consecutive months.
Broadcast ratings increased by % compared to September , an increase of 1.8 share credits due to the huge growth between the series – more than 40 aired on five English-language networks, CBS’s NCIS draws the biggest viewers in it — and sports. These two categories account for more than half of all broadcast viewing (27 TV series, 25 percent movement). News consumption on broadcast networks also increased by 25% in October as the midterm elections approached.
Cable outlets lost 0.9 share points in October to finish with 36. 9% of all TV use, despite growth in news and sports (30% of all cable programming). Both cable and broadcast have lost significant share over the past months from the merger of 65.3% usage in October 65 to .9% last month. Streaming increased nearly nine percentage points over the same time period, from 30.4% to 36. 3% now.
YouTube was again the most used streaming platform, accounting for 8.5% of all TV usage for the month. Netflix’s share was 7.2%, slightly lower than in September, while Hulu’s share rose to 4%. (In September, Nielsen changed its metric for streaming platforms to live plus 7-day viewing; previously it was just live. The figure also includes cable and satellite provider apps and linear streams from channels like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live Media, which contributed to the jump in usage for both.)
Nielsen’s platform rankings for October are as follows.
*Includes MVPD Apps and VMVPDs (e.g. Hulu + Live and Linear streaming on YouTube TV). Broadcast and cable content viewed through linear streaming apps also fall into their respective categories.
YouTube (including YouTube TV): 8.5%
Hulu (including Hulu + Live): 4%
1235245037 Prime Video: 2.8%
HBO Max: 1.1%
Pluto TV: 0.9% All others: .8%