April 16, 2024

This summer has been a breakthrough for streaming, as people spent more time in July than ever before consuming content on Netflix and Hulu, as well as broadcast and cable television networks.

According to data released on Thursday by the Nielsen organisation, viewers spent 35% of their time last month streaming content, 34% viewing cable networks, and 22% watching broadcast television. The majority of the remaining time was used for watching video on demand or DVDs.

Although July is a unique month where broadcast TV is essentially on vacation with few live sports or scripted shows and a prime-time schedule jam-packed with game shows, it serves as a stark example of how quickly the industry is evolving.

David Bianculli, a professor of television studies at Rowan University and a reviewer for NPR’s “Fresh Air,” declared that “it was inevitable.” I understood that it had to occur, but I had no idea how quickly it would.

According to Nielsen, the viewership share of streaming increased by 23% in July over July 2021. The proportion of broadcast television fell by 10%, while that of cable fell by 9%.

According to Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president for product strategy and thought leadership at Nielsen, streaming services took a cue from what cable did during its formative years and used the slow summer season for broadcasting to promote some of their best programming. Virgin River and “The Umbrella Academy” also performed well. New episodes of “Stranger Things” on Netflix alone accounted for 18 billion minutes of viewing.