Nielsen: Streaming Hit Record Levels in January 2022

(Image credit: Pixabay)

NEW YORK—Nielsen’s The Gauge, a monthly snapshot of total TV and streaming usage, has issued a new report showing that streaming in the U.S. reached a new all-time high in January, with streaming in the first month of 2022 racking up an average of over 180 billion minutes per week. During the month, streaming also captured a record 28.9% of total television usage. 

Broadcasting also performed well. With television usage was up 8%, broadcast consumption grew by 9%, driven by a compelling slate of NFL playoff games and increased engagement with both broadcast dramas and comedies, which were up 22% and 17%, respectively, compared to December 2021. 

During January, broadcast had a 26.4% share of total viewing. 

The cable category, despite being up 3% in usage, lost 1.7 share points to finish at 35.6% of television viewing, primarily due to the seasonal shift away from holiday movies.

Nielsen’s The Gauge also reported that the first week of January totaled 197.6 billion minutes of streaming, handily shattering the previous record of 183 billion minutes set just weeks before, during 2021's Christmas week. 

Overall, the 12% increase in streaming usage volume compared to December was the biggest increase of any category, and produced a 1.1% increase in streaming share of total TV usage.

In terms of the streaming platforms, viewing was driven primarily by high-profile titles such as Encanto on Disney+, and the new seasons of Ozark, Cobra Kai, and The Witcher on Netflix. Total usage on Disney+ was up 25%, in addition to a 22% viewing increase for Amazon Prime, resulting in a 0.3% total share increase for both services, respectively.

Netflix led the streaming services in January with a 9.4% share of total viewing, followed by YouTube (5.7%), Hulu (3%), Prime Video (2.4%) and Disney+ (1.8%).

(Image credit: Nielsen)
(opens in new tab)
George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.