Nielsen: U.S. Streaming Climbs to Six-Month High

According to Nielsen’s The Gauge report for February 2024, a downward trend in TV consumption last month was countered by a record-setting Super Bowl Sunday.

TV consumption saw overall usage down 6.4 percent from January, beginning its seasonal downward trend. Despite the considerable usage decrease, however, there was a record-setting Super Bowl Sunday on February 11, which not only captured the largest Super Bowl audience in history, but also recorded the most-viewed day of TV ever reported in The Gauge (since May 2021).

Though usage fell across each of the primary viewing categories in The Gauge, streaming saw minimal impact, with a 1.9 percent decline that resulted in a 37.7 percent share of TV (up 1.7 share points). Paramount+ saw the most monthly growth from a platform perspective—up 24 percent—due in part to carrying a livestream of CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast, as well as from the 1.2 billion viewing minutes captured by Halo. YouTube saw a platform-best 9.3 percent share of TV usage, up 0.7 share points, and FAST services posted exceptional strength, with PlutoTV up 10 percent, Tubi up 8.3 percent and the Roku Channel up 8.1 percent.

From a streaming content perspective, acquired titles attracted the most viewership in February: Young Sheldon (Netflix, Max) topped the rankings with 4.6 billion viewing minutes, followed by Bluey (Disney+) with 4.5 billion and Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix) with 3.5 billion. Griselda (Netflix) was the top streaming original title with 3.2 billion minutes, ranking fourth overall.

Broadcast viewing fell 10 percent in February in a month-on-month comparison, and the category lost 0.9 share points to account for 23.3 percent of TV. On Super Bowl Sunday, however, the broadcast category made up over 43 percent of total TV usage, led by Super Bowl LVIII on CBS, which generated nearly 30 billion viewing minutes alone. In addition to garnering over 17 million viewers for the Grammys, CBS also attracted strong audiences for new scripted programming, including Tracker, NCIS, FBI and the final season of Young Sheldon.

Cable saw its smallest share to date, with 27.6 percent of overall TV usage. Cable news viewing increased 7 percent as audiences tuned in to election-year coverage, while sports viewing was down by about one-third. However, the sports genre still delivered the top programs for cable, with the 2024 NBA All-Star Game on TNT, TBS and truTV taking the top slot, followed by NBA All-Star Saturday Night on TNT and truTV.

Linear (live TV) streaming via MVPD and vMVPD apps represented 6.2 percent of total television usage in February.