Netflix And Chill? Streaming Viewership Beats Cable For the First Time

Streaming numbers were at an all-time high this July compared to last year's numbers.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Netflix takes the lead with popular shows like Stranger Things.
Netflix takes the lead with popular shows like Stranger Things.
Photo: Lionel Urman (AP)

Are you still watching? Well, obviously you are. Viewership on streaming platforms has surpassed cable last month, marking a significant shift in how people consume television content across the U.S.

Streaming numbers jumped by 22.6% in July compared to the same month last year, capturing a record total of 34.8% of all television viewership, according to Nielsen’s monthly ratings report. Viewers spent about 191 billion minutes per week on streaming platforms during the month of July.

On the other hand, cable viewership was down 8.9% in July, making up a total of 34.4% of all viewership, while viewership of broadcast television was down 9.8% to make up 21.6% of all television viewership.

Advertisement

Despite losing subscribers earlier this year, Netflix still took the lead amongst other streaming platforms by making up a total of 7.7% of streaming viewership in July. The partial success is mainly due to the release of the highly anticipated fourth season of Stranger Things, which had 18 billion viewing minutes during that month. YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime also saw record highs, racking up 7.3%, 3.6%, and 3% respectively of streaming viewership last month.

Streaming numbers typically surpass those of broadcast television, but this marks the first time streaming has surpassed cable since Nielsen began collecting data on television viewership in 2020. For the past two years, streaming has continued to rack up viewership numbers, signifying a change of the times as more people in the U.S. flock towards binge-worthy television. It’s worth noting though, that the numbers still show that traditional TV (meaning both cable and broadcast combined) still make up the majority of television viewership.

Advertisement

While a lot of people have said with pride that they’ve “cut the cord” on cable television, streaming services have noticeably inched toward looking a lot like, well, cable TV. While streaming is ahead for now, cable could soon regain its advantage as the sports season kicks off in the fall, calling some of its essential viewership back, and away from Vecna’s grip for a little while.