February Exhibits Seasonality of TV Usage, but Streaming Continues to Make Waves, according to Nielsen's The Gauge
TV consumption falls over 5% vs. January. Tubi achieves 1.0% share of TV usage for first time.
NEW YORK, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gauge, Nielsen's monthly visualization of total TV and streaming consumption in the U.S., revealed in the February 2023 report that time spent watching TV fell 5.1% from January to February, in line with the seasonality of viewing behavior for this time of year. This monthly decline in viewing was nearly the same as the 5.7% decline observed over the same period in 2022. However, while usage fell across each of the primary TV formats this month, streaming was least impacted and decreased less than 1% versus January, while viewing to broadcast and cable content decreased 9.2% and 5.7%, respectively.
As a result of the varying downturns in viewing across formats this month, the streaming category was the only to exhibit any growth in share (+1.5 pts.) versus January to finish the month at 34.3%* of overall TV usage, which also marked another record-high share for the digital format.
Among the streaming platform highlights this month, Tubi TV achieved a 1.0% share of total TV for the first time in February, making it the 9th streaming platform to reach this threshold and thus be broken out in The Gauge. YouTube (not including YouTube TV) accounted for nearly 8% of overall TV usage in February and captured the largest share among streaming platforms in The Gauge.
The 9.2% monthly decline in viewing to broadcast content in February was driven by a nearly 65% drop in broadcast sports viewing due to the conclusion of the NFL season, and contributed to a loss of 1.1 share points for the category. Compared with February 2022, broadcast content viewing was down about 8%, and the category lost 2.2 share points.
Cable viewing decreased 5.7% versus January, which ed to a loss of 0.2 share points to end the month with a 30.2% share of TV. Cable sports viewing declined over 34% in February despite events like the NFL Pro Bowl and NBA All Star Game. Cable news viewing rose slightly (2.4%) versus January, driven by activity around the State of the Union Address, and the genre remains the most-watched of the category, making up 18.6% of cable. On a year-over-year basis, time spent watching cable content declined 14.1% and the category has lost 5.1 share points.
* In order to more accurately reflect consumer viewing habits in The Gauge, beginning with data for February 2023 (current month), viewing that occurs through MVPD and vMVPD (virtual / multichannel video programming distributor) streaming apps (e.g. YouTube TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV, Charter/Spectrum), which primarily deliver live broadcast and cable programming, will no longer credit to the streaming category. Viewing to broadcast and cable content has always been reflected in the corresponding broadcast or cable category, including viewing that occurs via v/MVPD apps. Removing v/MVPD viewing from streaming ensures that it is not counted twice, therefore providing a more accurate representation of what audiences are watching. More information on the methodology update, including several months of trended data comparisons, can be found at nielsen.com/thegauge.
About The Gauge
Nielsen's approach to audience measurement, which leverages a geographically representative panel of real people and big data, is built for the future of media consumption. With The Gauge, the future of TV consumption is visible in a single view. The latest edition of The Gauge is always available at www.nielsen.com/thegauge.
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