Streaming Hit 6-Month High in February, According to Nielsen Report

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Streaming saw its biggest gains in the past six months, according to the latest edition of Nielsen’s The Gauge report. In February of 2024, streaming accounted for the largest share of TV usage at 37.7%, the largest percentage the subset has seen since August of 2023.

That’s a roughly 10% increase in the overall amount of total viewership streaming occupied compared to last year. In February of 2023, streaming made up 34.3% of TV usage.

While streaming’s share increased, traditional TV’s fell, hitting a six-month low. Broadcast television made up 23.3% of the viewing report during this time period, and cable made up 27.6%. For comparison’s sake, that’s a roughly 6% decrease in traditional TV viewing compared to February of 2023 when broadcast and cable accounted for a combined 54.1% of viewership. Traditional TV viewing has only fallen below 50% once since Nielsen launched this report, which happened in July of 2023 when it fell to 49.7%.

Breaking down the platforms, YouTube accounted for 9.3% of total TV usage, making it the most-watched platform during the time period. Paramount+ also saw a significant amount of growth, seeing a 24% increase in viewership in February compared to January. During this month, the Paramount+ original “Halo” also received 1.2 billion viewing minutes.

FAST services also had a strong February. PlutoTV was up 10%; Tubi was up 8.3%; and the Roku Channel was up 8.1% compared to their January viewership.

Not every streamer saw growth during this period. Following a month of having exclusive access to NFL Playoffs, Peacock’s monthly viewership fell 14%, accounting for 1.9% of total TV usage overall. “Ted” and “The Traitors” were responsible for a combined 1.3 billion viewing minutes on the platform. Netflix also saw a decrease, falling from 7.8% to 7.5% in terms of total TV viewership.

The biggest television event in February — Super Bowl LVIII — set the record for the most total viewing of any day since The Gauge started in May of 2021. The event was responsible for 111 billion viewing minutes.

Despite this record-setting achievement, television viewership was ultimately down 6.4% in February compared to January. This drop is consistent with drops that have occurred during the same time period in past years (a 5.1% decrease in 2022; a 5.7% decrease in 2023). But Nielsen credits the degree of this year’s drop as a testament of how high TV viewership was in January of 2024.

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