News Consumption in April Boosts Cable's Share of TV, according to Nielsen's Latest Report of The Gauge™
NEW YORK, May 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Nielsen's April 2023 report of The Gauge™, the media measurement company's monthly snapshot of total broadcast, cable and streaming consumption that occurs through a television, cable was the only category to record an increase in share this month (+0.4 pts.), boosted by an upswing in cable news viewing. This gain for cable also represents the first back-to-back share increase for the category since the inception of The Gauge in May 2021.
With a decrease of 1.9% from March to April, total TV usage in the U.S. declined for the third consecutive month, a trend that is typical as the summer months approach. By comparison, time spent watching TV declined 2.1% over the same period in 2022.
The cable category exhibited the smallest dip in viewing across all categories in The Gauge this month, decreasing 0.6% vs. March, and was able to gain 0.4 share points to account for 31.5% of total TV viewing in April. Cable news viewing increased 4.3% from March to April and accounted for the largest portion of cable viewing (19%). Year-over-year, time spent watching cable content was down 12.0% in April 2023, and the category has lost 5.3 share points.
At 23.1% share of total TV, broadcast viewing was down 2.7% in April and the category lost 0.2 share points on the month. The completion of the NCAA basketball tournament, and The Masters golf tournament, were the most-watched broadcast programs in April, but broadcast sports viewing overall dipped 17.1% vs. March to account for 9.6% of the category. The general drama genre increased 2.1% in April, driven by titles like NCIS, Blue Bloods and Chicago Fire. From a year-over-year perspective, broadcast viewership was down 3.7%, and the category has lost 1.6 share points.
Time spent with streaming content was down 2.1% in April compared with March, and the streaming category recorded a loss in share (-0.1 pts.) for the second consecutive month. However, streaming still concluded the month with the largest share of TV at 34.0%.
Offsetting April's dip in streaming conumption were the FAST (free ad-supported TV) offerings of Tubi TV and Pluto TV. Tubi TV usage was up 6% from March, and the platform added 0.1 share point to capture 1.1% of overall TV, and Pluto TV viewing increased 3.9% on the month to stay at 0.8% of TV. In March 2023, Pluto TV exhibited the largest increase in usage across all streaming platforms at 4.6%. Additional streaming highlights:
Viewing via MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) and vMVPD (virtual multichannel video programming distributor) streaming apps represented 5.4%* of total television use in April, including 1.2% attributed to YouTube TV, and 0.4% to Hulu Live.
About The Gauge™
*Beginning with The Gauge report from February 2023, viewing that occurs via MVPD and vMVPD streaming apps (e.g. YouTube TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV, Charter/Spectrum) no longer credits to the streaming category, as these apps primarily deliver live broadcast and cable programming. Viewing to broadcast and cable content has always been reflected in the corresponding broadcast or cable category, including viewing that occurs via MVPD/vMVPD apps.
The latest edition of The Gauge is always available at www.nielsen.com/thegauge.
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