Streaming hits high even as overall TV viewing slips in February 2023
| 17 March 2023
The monthly analysis by measurement firm Nielsen of total TV and streaming consumption in the US, The Gauge, has found February 2023 showing the seasonality of TV usage with time spent watching TV falling 5.1% from the previous month.
Nielsen theGauge FEB2023 17March2023
Yet while the Gauge for February 2023 found the monthly decline in viewing was nearly the same as the 5.7% decline observed over the same period in 2022 and usage fell across each of the primary TV formats, streaming was least impacted and decreased less than 1% versus January, while viewing to broadcast and cable content decreased 9.2% and 5.7%, respectively.

In addition, as a result of the varying downturns in viewing across formats in the month, the streaming category was the only to exhibit any growth in share, 1.5 percentage points compared with January 20223 to finish the month at 34.3% of overall TV usage, which also marked another record-high share for the digital format.

Among the streaming platform highlights found in the Gauge for February 2023 was the debut of AVOD service Tubi TV in the monthly analysis after achieving a 1.0% share of total TV for the first time in February, making it the ninth streaming platform to reach this. YouTube, not including YouTube TV, accounted for nearly 8% of overall TV usage in February and captured the largest share among streaming platforms. New Amsterdam was the most-viewed streaming program, with 4.6 billion viewing minutes across Netflix and Peacock. The Last of Us was the second most-viewed programme, with 4.4 billion viewing minutes on HBO Max. Viewing on the main YouTube platform was up 2.5% month-on-month. While the arrival of a new season of You on Netflix generated 4.2 billion viewing minutes, overall usage on the platform was down 6.7%.

The 9.2% monthly decline in viewing to broadcast content in February was driven by a nearly 65% drop in broadcast sports viewing due to the conclusion of the NFL season, and contributed to a loss of 1.1 share points for the category. Compared with February 2022, broadcast content viewing was down about 8%, and the category lost 2.2 share points.

Cable viewing decreased 5.7% versus January, which led to a loss of 0.2 share points to end the month with a 30.2% share of TV. Cable sports viewing declined over 34% in February despite events like the NFL Pro Bowl and NBA All Star Game. Cable news viewing rose slightly (2.4%) compared with January 2023 and the genre remains the most-watched of the category, making up 18.6% of cable. On a year-on-year basis, time spent watching cable content declined 14.1% and the category has lost 5.1 share points.