Streaming Grabs a Record TV Viewing Share During Holidays

(Image credit: Pixabay)

NEW YORK—New data released on January 13  from The Gauge, Nielsen’s monthly total TV and streaming snapshot, revealed that streaming in the U.S. reached a new all-time weekly high of over 183 billion minutes of video in December 2021, giving over-the-top platforms a record-breaking 33% share of total TV viewing during the week of Christmas.

The data highlighted the importance of streaming during holiday periods, with the new Christmas week data surpassing the previous-high of 178 billion minutes streamed during Thanksgiving week in November 2021. 

Prior to that, the 160 billion minutes streamed during March 2020 was the highest total. 

Yet for the entire month of December, the overall percentage TV viewing share for streaming remained flat from the previous month at 28%. 

Cable viewing continued to account for the largest percentage as measured by The Gauge, with just over 37% total share of viewership while broadcast viewing dropped one share point to 26.1%.

The "Other" category, which includes video on-demand content, cable set top box streaming, gaming, and DVD usage, gained 1.6% share on the strength of video gaming's premiere season to 8.9%.

In terms of individual streaming services, Netflix led with 6.4% of total TV viewing, followed by YouTube (5.8%), Hulu (3.0%), Prime Video (2.1%) and Disney (1.6%). 

The latest edition of The Gauge is available at (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Nielsen)
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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.