Report: Streaming Shows Outnumber Cable for the First Time

Streaming services make up a bigger portion of television than ever before, according to FX’s annual report as reported by Variety.

The report found the 495 shows aired in 2018, and 160 of them were on a streaming platform, compared to 146 on broadcast and 144 on cable. In other words, a little over one-third of scripted shows are available through a streaming service.

Streaming shows also increased more in the past year than cable and broadcast competitors, up to 160 from 117. Basic cable dropped about 30 shows, and broadcast remained nearly unchanged since 2017. Premium channels like HBO and Showtime slightly increased their offerings.

The total number of shows was also up since 2017, although by less than it has jumped in previous years. Networks like MTV and A&E have been moving away from scripted shows, while streaming services like Netflix have continued to add new series this year, including Aggretsuko, 13 Reasons Why, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Although Netflix hasn’t released exact numbers, chief content officer Ted Sarandos confirmed that Netflix plans to create more shows in 2019, meaning that this trend will likely continue.