May ushers in the summer of streaming – Nielsen - Social Media Explorer
May ushers in the summer of streaming – Nielsen
May ushers in the summer of streaming – Nielsen

Television viewing, like other activities has its historical norms. Many are influenced by the calendar. However, streaming continues to grow and claim 31.9% in total television time.

May is traditionally the month that TV viewers are at their lowest. And this year was no exception, with total time spent with television falling 2.7%. In comparison to broadcast or cable viewing, however streaming usage rose by 2%. The increase was amplified through the release of Obi Wan KenobiDisney+ Season 4 Stranger ThingsNetflix. The appetite for these titles was significant, helping the two platforms attract big viewership as the programs dropped: Disney+ attracted 2.5% of the total TV share  on May 27, and Netflix claimed 9.0% on Saturday, May 28.

Both cable and broadcast viewing fell in May in accordance with historical norms. Cable viewing also declined 3.5%. For broadcast viewers, drama continued to dominate with procedural crimes dramas like NCIS, FBI Blue BloodsThe genre captured one-third the total broadcast viewing. Cable news viewing fell 4.2% in May. However, sports viewing was higher by 7% and accounted for 9%. The NBA playoffs were the most-viewed cable program during May. 

The summertime is a time of lull for television and could serve as an indicator for streaming services. Keep checking back for more iterations and updates from The Gauge, as we continue mapping these trends.

Please refer to the below methodology.

The video gives you a glimpse into the workings of The Gauge by Brian Fuhrer.


Monthly macroanalysis by The Gauge of consumer access across major television platforms including Broadcast and Streaming. The chart also shows the breakdown of major streaming distributors. This chart shows individual streaming distributors’ share of each category as well as total TV usage.

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