Streaming takes center stage in Nielsen's May 2024 Gauge™ report

Streaming services continued their dominance in May 2024, reaching a record high of 38.8% of total TV usage according to Nielsen's latest Gauge™ report.

Streaming takes center stage in Nielsen's May 2024 Gauge™ report

Streaming services continued their dominance in May 2024, reaching a record high of 38.8% of total TV usage according to Nielsen's latest Gauge™ report. This marks a significant milestone, with streaming surpassing both cable and broadcast television for the first time.

The report also highlights the success of "Young Sheldon" across various platforms. The sitcom garnered a combined 6 billion viewing minutes in May, a testament to its popularity across broadcast, cable, and streaming services. The show's season finale on CBS drew a strong audience of 11.74 million viewers (L+7).

Broadcast TV Holds Steady, Cable Faces Decline

While streaming services surge, broadcast television maintained a 22.3% share of total usage in May. The Kentucky Derby on NBC remained the most-watched broadcast with 16 million viewers, demonstrating the continued appeal of major sporting events on traditional networks. However, long-term trends might indicate a decline in broadcast viewership, as seasonal variations can impact month-to-month comparisons.

Cable television, on the other hand, experienced a dip to 28.2% of total usage. This could be attributed to factors such as rising cable subscription costs and the growing value proposition of streaming services that offer flexibility and potentially lower prices. The dominance of NBA playoffs on cable in May might be a temporary boost, underlining the need for cable providers to adapt and compete in the evolving television landscape.

Free Streaming Platforms Gain Traction

Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) services like Tubi and The Roku Channel are emerging as noteworthy players. These platforms offer viewers an alternative to subscription-based streaming, attracting a growing audience. Both Tubi and The Roku Channel saw significant increases in viewership compared to May 2023, highlighting the consumer interest in free and readily available streaming options.

It's important to note that Nielsen's Gauge™ report relies on data collected from a representative panel of households, potentially limiting its representation of the entire population's viewing habits. Additionally, the May 2024 report incorporates a new methodology for measuring streaming viewership in Mexico, which may impact comparisons with previous months.

The May 2024 Gauge™ report from Nielsen paints a clear picture of a television industry in transformation. Streaming services are undeniably on the rise, attracting a growing audience and surpassing traditional broadcast and cable television in terms of usage. While broadcast television maintains a presence, cable television faces challenges. Free streaming services are emerging as a viable alternative, offering viewers more choices. As technology and consumer preferences continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the television industry adapts to this ever-changing landscape.


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