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Streaming TV Surpasses Broadcast TV in Nielsen’s New Monthly Snapshot

Jeff Kotuby

In their new TV and streaming snapshot “The Gauge,” Nielsen reported 26 percent of all television consumption was done through various streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. Netflix led the pack with 6 percent of the streaming share, but YouTube (which also includes YouTube TV) and Hulu (which also includes Hulu Live TV) were close behind.

Streaming’s 26 percent narrowly edges broadcast TV’s 25 percent and is inching closer to cable’s 39 percent share. The full split can be seen below, courtesy of Nielsen:

“The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape,” said says Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen. “Even as people begin to dive back into their pre-pandemic activities, based on the changes many made to enable streaming coupled with the variety of newly introduced services, we expect people to keep sampling and exploring their options. Maybe just as importantly, as production ramps back up, new content will enter the space, driving additional traction.”

Streaming usage has exploded since the pandemic began last year, though subscriber growth is slowing as the world returns to some sort of normalcy. 2020 subscription and consumption numbers were stellar across the board, though the early 2021 number seem to be a bit off the mark for certain companies. Netflix missed its subscriber projections for Q1 of this year, as did Disney+ in Q2.


Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Queer Eye, and Russian Doll. They are constantly adding new shows and movies — and have even begun creating original films like The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) and Dolemite is My Name (Eddie Murphy).

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” ($8.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” ($13.99) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” ($17.99) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom — HBO Max has grown tremendously over the past year, thanks to blockbuster films like “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and “Mortal Kombat” coming to the service, and should continue to grow due to its new ad-supported option. Discovery’s streaming service discovery+ has also grown exponentially, powering the company to 15 million total streaming subscribers across all of their channels. These two companies will join forces in the near future and become Warner Bros. Discovery, which should offer plenty of growth opportunities in the future.


HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals, and access to every Warner Bros. film on HBO Max on the same day that it hits theaters.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

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