Streaming again gains share of TV time even as usage declines (NASDAQ:NFLX)

Streaming video’s share of television viewing time increased again in August, even as the back-to-school season led to a drop in overall television usage.

According to “The Gaugeby Nielsen, the ratings giant’s monthly macro look at TV broadcast platforms.

The previous month, streaming had overtaken cable to become the number one TV single-use for the first time.

And while streaming increased its share, cable also fell, to 34.5%. Circulation also increased its share, 22.1%. All of these share gains came out of the Other category, which fell to 8.5% from 9.2% the previous month. (The “Other” category is heavily used by video games, which suffers as kids return to school across the country, but also includes viewing video discs.)

From a volume perspective, total TV usage was down in August, which is typical for the season, although broadcast volume was up, helped by general variety programming as well as a boost Sport. Cable volume dropped, but that drop was also mitigated by a big boost in sports listening volume. Streaming volume was flat from the previous month, but up 22.6% year-over-year.

Digging into the streaming slice shows that audiences are moving to follow new and strong content. Long-time Netflix category leader (NASDAQ: NFLX) lost share in August, falling from 8.0% to 7.6%, down from the big month of July provided by Strange things. YouTube/YouTube TV (NASDAQ:GOOG) (GOOGL) increased its share by 7.3% to match Netflix for the first time, at 7.6%.

Hulu (NYSE: DIS) (CMCSA) increased its share to 3.7% from 3.6% last month, while Amazon Prime Video (NASDAQ: AMZN) fell from 3.0% to 2.9%. Disney+ (DIS) grew slightly from 1.8% to 1.9%, and the launch of game of thrones spin off Dragon House helped HBO Max (WBD) increase its share to 1.2% from 1.0% previously.

“Other streaming” (including smaller services like Crackle (CSSE) as well as linear streamers like Spectrum (CHTR), DirecTV and Sling TV (DISH)) rose 10.3% to 10.2%.

As for the weekly streaming charts, a (relative) lull in hot spring and summer content meant that no program streamed a billion minutes in the first week since April.

The roost was ruled by a strong second week of Netflix’s Jamie Foxx movie (NFLX) day shift, which reached 957 million minutes.

It was part of a week where Netflix dominated as the overall content tide receded. The streaming pioneer had nine of the top 10 most streamed shows.

Day shift was followed by Netflix (NFLX) The sand man (946 million minutes); stranger things (919 million minutes); I have never (883 million minutes); NCIS (810 million minutes); locke and key (776 million minutes); and Grey’s Anatomy (702 million minutes). The only non-Netflix streamer in the overall top 10 was Disney+ (DIS), with Bluey (681 million minutes).

(Recall that the Nielsen streaming rankings now include the viewing of six major streamers: Amazon Prime Video (AMZN), Apple TV+ (AAPL), Disney+ (DIS), HBO Max (WBD), Hulu (DIS) (CMCSA) and Netflix (NFLX).)

Pay-TV distributors: Comcast (CMCSA), Charter (CHTR), Dish Network (DISH), Verizon FiOS (VZ), Optimum/Suddenlink (ATUS), Atlantic Broadband (OTCPK: CGEAF), Sparklight (CABO).

Affected local TTYs: Nexstar Media Group (NXST), Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI), Gray Television (GTN), Tegna (TGNA), EW Scripps (SSP). National broadcasters: ABC (DIS), NBC (CMCSA), CBS (PARA) (PARAA), Fox (FOX) (FOXA). And some ad-tech names related to connected TV: The Trade Desk (TTD), Magnite (MGNI), PubMatic (PUBM), Criteo (CRTO), Roku (ROKU).