Streaming Overtakes Cable Viewing for First Time, According to Nielsen

By Jessica Lerner 

After four consecutive months of hitting viewership highs, streaming reigned supreme in July 2022 as it surpassed cable usage last month for the first time ever, according to Nielsen’s monthly total TV and streaming snapshot, The Gauge.

A record 34.8% of all television viewing was done via streaming, compared to 34.4% for cable and 21.6% for broadcast.

Along with having the highest viewership share during the month, viewers watched 190.9 billion minutes of streamed video on average each week, easily besting the 169.9 billion minutes they watched in April 2020 during the pandemic lockdown. According to Nielsen, the five weeks of July 2022 mark the highest-volume streaming weeks ever, except for the week of December 27, 2021.


Overall, streaming usage grew by 3.2% from June. On a year-over-year basis, streaming volume increased 22.6%, growing its usage share by 6.5 points. In July, Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube reached new heights again. Netflix gained an 8% share, boosted by TV shows such as Stranger Things, Virgin River and The Umbrella Academy and movies such as The Gray Man and The Sea Beast.

The new season of Only Murders in the Building and The Bear contributed to Hulu’s record-breaking 3.6% share, while The Terminal List and fresh episodes of The Boys propelled Amazon’s Prime Video to a 3.0% share.

A loss of 0.7 share points resulted from a 2% decline in cable consumption starting in June 2022. Cable consumption decreased 8.9% and 3.3 share points from last July. Engagement with cable categories was almost flat in July. Sports saw the sharpest reduction in viewership in July, falling 34% from a year earlier and 15.4% for the month. Engagement with cable categories was almost flat in July.

At 21.6% of the television market, broadcast had a 3.7% volume decline from the previous month, a loss of 0.8 share points. The change in viewing habits is more pronounced when compared to the previous year, as broadcast viewership fell by 9.8% for a loss of 2.3 share points. The NHL and NBA playoffs ended in June, which contributed to the 41% decline in sports viewing. The decrease was 43% from the previous year when there was some Olympic coverage in addition to NHL and NBA.