Unveiling the Unprecedented Shift: Linear TV’s Fall Below 50% & Streaming’s Epic Surge to Domination

In an unprecedented twist, the landscape of television consumption witnessed a transformation during July, as broadcast and cable networks found themselves eclipsed by the amalgamation of newer viewing paradigms. This juncture marks a momentous occasion: the first instance where the dominion of linear TV watching dwindled beneath the 50 percent threshold in Nielsen’s record spanning over two years of platform-based viewing analysis.

While the aggregate utilization of television experienced a marginal increment during the month of July, the crux of this growth emanated from the realm of streaming. The zenith of its ascension culminated in an unprecedented pinnacle, where streaming commanded an all-time zenith of 38.7 percent of the entire television consumption landscape. Concomitantly, the obscure domain dubbed “other use,” encompassing the likes of televised video games and physical media playback, secured an 11.6 percent stake in the realm of television engagement.

The trajectory of streaming’s ascendancy has been nothing short of remarkable, as it achieved an elevated stance of 37.7 percent during June. This triumph in July marked the third consecutive month of augmentation, affording streaming an unparalleled expanse of viewers’ temporal engagement. Linear TV, in stark contrast, experienced a languishing descent, with broadcast networks plunging to a mere 20 percent share in July, a slight diminution from June’s 20.8 percent. Correspondingly, cable networks bore witness to a slide to 29.6 percent, a decrement from the preceding month’s 30.6 percent. A nadir was achieved for both these paradigms, as Nielsen’s monthly platform indices—termed the Gauge—first made their appearance in June 2021. The inaugural ranking established the symbiotic reign of broadcast and cable at an overwhelming 63.6 percent of the U.S. television tapestry. The current epoch bespeaks a distinct shift, as their dominance wanes, now commanding a modest 49.6 percent.

In a dramatic volte-face, the empire of streaming has burgeoned from a 26 percent foothold in June 2021 to an astounding 38.7 percent by the time July unfurled, attesting to a seismic 48 percent leap in its prowess.

Delving into the annals of individual streaming contenders, the archetypal leader, YouTube (excluding its YouTube TV incarnation), retained its supremacy with a customary 9.2 percent claim to the totality of TV engagement. Subsequent to this, Netflix emerged as a formidable contender with 8.5 percent in its grasp. Fox’s AVOD service, Tubi, crafted a milestone of its own, boasting its most prolific month hitherto with a 1.4 percent fraction of overall engagement, equating the prowess of Max.

The echelons of streaming augmentation in July were orchestrated by the ascendancy of acquired series, notably Suits on Netflix and Peacock, which collectively contributed over 18 billion minutes of riveting spectacle throughout the month. To put this into perspective, this quantum of viewership paralleled that of Stranger Things during the vivacious epoch of July 2022. In a parallel narrative, Disney+’s creation, Bluey, commanded a noteworthy 5 billion minutes of captivating viewership.

As if in a symphony of data, Nielsen’s Gauge rankings for the illustrious month of July in the year 2023 unfurl as follows:


  • Streaming: 38.7 percent of TV usage
  • Cable: 29.6 percent
  • Broadcast: 20 percent
  • Other: 11.6 percent

Streaming Services

  • YouTube: 9.2 percent of total TV usage
  • Netflix: 8.5 percent
  • Hulu: 3.6 percent
  • Prime Video: 3.4 percent
  • Disney+: 2 percent
  • Max: 1.4 percent
  • Tubi: 1.4 percent
  • Peacock: 1.1 percent
  • Roku Channel: 1.1 percent
  • Paramount+: 1 percent
  • Pluto TV: 0.9 percent
  • All others: 5.1 percent

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