Streaming Leveled Off In August Amid Olympics Tune-In And Kids’ Return To School, Nielsen Reports


Overall streaming accounted for 28% of all U.S. TV viewing in August, according to Nielsen, compared with 24% for broadcast and 36% for cable. It was the first month of flat streaming performance relative to the month before since Nielsen began releasing its Gauge measurement of viewing patterns in May.

The company cited back-to-school season as a headwind for streaming. Children between 6 and 17 years old viewed 7.5% less programming across the board, and that age group skews toward streaming.

Overall TV viewing ticked up a half a percentage point compared with July, as the Tokyo Olympics drove a 2.9% increase for broadcast TV. Other standout events on broadcast and cable included the Field of Dreams game played in Iowa and the Hall of Fame game, the annual preseason contest kicking off the year’s NFL action.

While Netflix remains the top draw in terms of streaming sources, it was outmatched by a grab-bag “other category.” Nielsen said many adult-oriented niche services are reflected in the tally, which gained one percentage point from its July level. Other market-share stats among top streaming outlets remained unchanged between July and August.

On a separate weekly chart released at the same time as the Gauge, Nielsen said Netflix drama Outer Banks repeated as the most streamed title from August 16 to 22. The show collected 736 million minutes of total viewing, edging preschool mainstay Cocomelon, which finished No. 2 for the week.

Sweet Girl, an action thriller starring Jason Momoa, finished No. 6 overall and topped the Nielsen movie chart, with 658 million minutes of viewing.

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