The U.S. streaming industry recorded its largest-ever share of viewing time even in June 2022, according to data released by ratings service Nielsen.

The findings for the period indicated that the four leading streaming platforms in the U.S. attracted record viewership shares while the overall U.S. streaming industry garnered more than a third of total TV viewing time.

Furthermore, the leading subscription video on demand streaming service, Netflix, saw its largest monthly growth, the data shows.

The Nielsen Gauge study found that total TV usage increased by 1.9% on a month-on-month basis, bolstered by a 7.7% increase in streaming, during the seasonally slow summer period. This raised the audience share 1.8 points to a new high of 33.7%—6.3 percentage points higher than in June 2021, Nielsen found.

In addition to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube each reached record viewing share in the period.

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The Nielsen data said Disney+ registered a 14.7% increase in minutes viewed, gaining 0.2 share points; Amazon Prime Video had an 11.1% increase in minutes viewed and a boost of 0.2 share points; YouTube (including YouTube TV) garnered a 5.2% increase in minutes viewed and a lift of 0.2 points of share. Netflix was up 16.3% in terms of minutes viewed and 1 share point gained.

Comparatively, while viewership for broadcast and cable is traditionally lower during the summer months, June represented the smallest shares yet for the formats, which totaled 22.4% for broadcast and 35.1% for cable.

The official end of TV seasons with the lack of new content to watch in the summer generated a 6.7% decline in traditional broadcast TV viewership and a loss of 2.1 share points between May and June 2022. Broadcast TV viewing during the month of June was down 3.9% compared to June 2021, and a full share point lower.

While cable viewing in June fell 2% from the previous month, the category lost 1.4 share points of TV usage over the same period, Nielsen said. Cable continues to show some of the largest year-over-year shifts of any viewing category, dropping 5 percentage points and -11.9% in viewing compared to June 2021.

The end of the traditional TV season affected dramas the most, with show in the genre falling off by 31% in June. Sports was a bright spot for broadcast, with the NHL and NBA finals generating a 43.8% boost in viewership.

Sports was also a factor in cable viewing, Nielsen observed, but for the opposite reason. With the NBA playoffs concluding on cable in May, sports viewing on cable fell 42.1%—too large a drop to be offset by the feature film category, which is always a notable contributor for cable.

In June, feature film viewing was up 15.8% from May, representing 13.7% of total cable viewing minutes. On a year-over-year basis, cable viewing minutes fell 11.9%, resulting in a drop of 5 full share points.

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By Greg Tarr

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