Streaming Hits Record 38.8% of Total TV Usage in May

Streaming viewership hit a record high share of 38.8% of TV usage in May, roughly flat month over month but up over 8% on an annual basis, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge.

YouTube continued its streak as the most-watched streaming platform for its 16th consecutive month, tying its platform-best to account for a 9.7% share of TV usage in May.

Netflix followed behind with a share of 7.6%, boosted by the May 16 premiere of “Bridgerton” Season 3, Part 1, the most-streamed show of the month with over 5.5 billion viewing minutes. Hulu and Prime Video followed in the third and fourth spots, respectively, with shares of 3.1% and 3%. Tubi and Disney+ tied for fifth place with 1.8% each.

Courtesy of Nielsen
Courtesy of Nielsen

Together, FAST platforms held a combined 4.1% share of TV usage for the month, with the Roku Channel accounting for 1.5% and Pluto TV accounting for .9%. In addition to hitting platform-high shares, Tubi and Roku also showed significant year-over-year growth with the former up 43% and the latter up 36%.

Meanwhile, broadcast viewing came in at 22.3% of total TV viewing time for the month, elevated by finale season.

“Young Sheldon” generated 6 billion viewing minutes during May across broadcast, cable and streaming, with those minutes split almost exactly in half between traditional linear channels and streaming platforms. After seven seasons, the CBS sitcom’s finale drew in 11.74 million viewers in live-plus-7-day viewing. Additionally, the show runs on cable networks like TBS and Nick at Nite in syndication and is available on Paramount+, Netflix and Max.

Cable viewing accounted for 28.2% due to fewer televised sporting events following the end of the NCAA basketball tournaments. The Kentucky Derby on NBC was the most-watched linear telecast in May with 16 million viewers, beating its 2023 viewership by over 1 million.

Nielsen noted that while broadcast and cable saw a decline in viewership year over year, it was not to the same extent as the 2022-23 intervals. In May 2023, traditional linear TV viewing fell 7 share points year over year. In comparison, it was about half of that with a loss of 3.4 points this year.

Overall, TV usage was down 2.4% month-over-month — following typical trends for the time of year — but up 1.4% on an annual basis.

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