In a nutshell: YouTube was the most popular streaming service in the US in January, accounting for 8.6 percent of total television viewing. According to Nielsen, it's YouTube's 12th consecutive month as the leading streaming service. Netflix trailed just behind YouTube with a 7.9 percent share and after that, it was not even close.

The third most popular streaming service, Amazon Prime Video, accounted for just 2.8 percent of the pie. Hulu captured a 2.7 percent slice, and Disney+ was responsible for only 1.9 percent.

Zooming out to look at the bigger picture, streaming was the leading way folks watched television in January, accounting for 36 percent of all viewing. Cable came in second at 27.9 percent while broadcast accounted for 24.2 percent of TV consumption. "Other," which includes unmeasured sources like DVDs, VOD, and the like, brought up the rear with 11.8 percent.

January was a record-setting month for television viewing in general, thanks in part to chilly weather and the NFL playoffs. Nine of the top 10 days with the highest streaming volumes ever recorded occurred last month; the lone exception was New Year's Eve 2023, which ranks ninth.

On January 13, a total of 40.78 billion minutes were streamed, followed by 38.81 billion minutes the next day (NFL playoff games took place on both days). The game between the Miami Dolphins and the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs was streamed exclusively on Peacock, and generated nearly 3.9 billion viewing minutes on the 13th.

Viewing trends have remained surprisingly consistent year over year. Streaming gained a couple of percentage points – mostly at the expense of cable viewership – but broadcast and "other" viewing has held pretty steady.

Looking ahead, Nielsen expects another solid month in February. Temperatures are still chilly, and the Super Bowl will no doubt help boost total viewership. This month also marks the start of an abbreviated broadcast TV season that could offset declines typically seen after the NFL season ends.

Image credit: Ivan Samkov