With the debut of its new metric for competition between television and streaming, Nielsen has revealed that TV still holds a larger market share. Streaming, however, is rapidly approaching.
According to Nielsen's new metric for measure market shares between TV and streaming, "The Gauge," cable TV holds the largest market share at 39%, following by streaming at 26%, broadcast TV at 25%, and all others at 9%. Of the major streaming services, Netflix held a slim lead over YouTube
"The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape. 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," said Brian Fuhrer, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Nielsen.
However, the Gauge represents only some of the market due to the limitations of Nielsen's collection method. Like its TV ratings, Nielsen collects data for The Gauge through devices (called "Streaming Meters") that supposedly monitor internet traffic. Nielsen has noted that its data gathering methods do not allow it to measure content watched on phones or laptops.
Previously, data was only available from streaming services themselves. Many companies, however, are protective over this data and often only release viewership data sparingly. Before the debut of The Gauge, Nielsen had attempted to measure viewership data for Netflix's
As for the Gauge, however, Netflix appears to be much more supportive. Co-CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings commented that Nielsen, with its new metric, was "in a good place to referee or score-keep how streaming is changing the US television landscape."