Streaming finished February with a 34.3% share of all TV usage during the month, according to the latest data from Nielsen. Even though this represented a decrease of around 4% when compared to January, it still resulted in an overall market share increase of around 1.5%, and another record-high share for the format in general.
One of the reasons streaming saw a decline is the seasonality of TV. In other words, TV usage always tends to decline around this time of the year, with the conclusion of the NFL season given as a prime example. Nielsen’s February 2023 report suggests that the total time spent watching TV fell 5.1% between January and February.
However, another potential reason for the decline this February is a change in the way Nielsen actually collects and reports The Gauge data.
According to Nielsen, data for live TV viewing through vMVPDs like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV are no longer credited to the streaming category. While streaming does still include Hulu and YouTube data, it doesn’t include data from their linear TV streaming services. Nielsen says that the change was made to primarily avoid live TV data being counted more than once.
Regardless of the change, streaming led the way with 34.3%, followed by cable with 30.2% and broadcast with 23.8%. The infamous other category then accounted for the remaining 11.7% of TV usage in February.
Looking more closely at streaming and YouTube (excluding YouTube TV) was the big winner in February with 7.9%. This was followed by Netflix with 7.3% and Hulu (without Hulu Live TV) with 3.3%. Prime Video and Disney Plus occupied the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
One of the more interesting points to note with February’s streaming data is the arrival of Tubi. For the first time ever, the free streaming service reached 1% equally Peacock and only 0.3% behind HBO Max. For reference, Pluto TV, the other popular free streaming service, managed to rack up a 0.7% share during February.