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What just happened? Streaming claimed the largest share of TV viewing in July for the first time ever. Streaming viewership has beat broadcast viewing in the past, but this marks the first time streaming has also trumped cable according to new data from Nielsen's monthly analysis of television delivery platforms.
Streaming represented 34.8 percent of total television consumption last month, narrowly edging out cable's 34.4 percent share. Broadcast viewing accounted for 21.6 percent of the pie.
Streaming usage grew 3.2 percent from June and a whopping 22.6 percent year over year. Cable usage dropped two percent from June and 8.9 percent on a year-over-year basis, while broadcast volume dipped 3.7 percent compared to the previous month and 9.8 percent versus July 2021. Despite the shift in viewership shares, total TV usage was virtually identical compared to the previous month and the same period a year earlier.
Nielsen data reveals that audiences watched an average of 190.9 billion minutes of streaming content per week in July. Excluding a single week in December 2021, the weeks of July 2022 represent the highest-volume streaming weeks Nielsen has ever recorded.
Streaming giants including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and YouTube all reached new heights in July.
Netflix viewers watched nearly 18 billion minutes of Stranger Things last month, and The Umbrella Academy and Virgin River combined for nearly 11 billion additional viewing minutes. On the film side, The Sea Beast and The Gray Man added over five billion minutes to Netflix's total.
Hulu saw a boost from the new season of Only Murders in the Building and the debut of The Bear. The new series The Terminal List and new episodes of The Boys combined for over eight billion viewing minutes on Amazon's streaming service.
A slowdown of new content on traditional television as well as a dip in sports programming also aided streaming. With professional and college football seasons just around the corner, however, streaming's position at the top of the hill could be short lived.
Image credit: Amateur Hub