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Streaming Overtakes Free-To-Air TV

An ominous sign for the Australian entertainment industry has emerged, with streaming overtaking free to air TV in the USA for the first time.

According to the report by Nielsen, this is the first time that streaming has topped all forms of viewership, following a 4-month streak of hitting new viewership records.

Streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO MAX, Hulu and more made up 34.8%, just surpassing cable television at 34.4%. Standard broadcast TV contributed 21.6%.

Nielsen claims that a considerable reason for cable and paid TV viewership numbers dropping is the reduced sport offerings available in the US during this time of year.

Streaming services are increasingly tapping into the appeal of live sport, with Apple and Amazon streaming NFL and baseball, whilst Disney is looking at streaming ESPN.

Sport is a major market in Australia, where 80% of us watch it on free to air TV and 55% watching paid sport services such as Foxtel’s Kayo, according to EKAS Market Research.

Nielsen does acknowledge that July was a peak month for streaming, with Netflix alone gaining an 8% share thanks to the release of the latest season of Stranger Things, which clocked almost 18 billion minutes for the month.

Streaming services are changing rapidly as of late to increase accessibility despite rising subscription costs. Netflix is looking to introduce a cheaper ad-supported tier, whilst also cracking down on password sharing, both of which would increase subscriber numbers.

There is also a much larger variety of streaming services than there was in the past, most of which can be streamed directly via a smart TV, making entertainment streaming more enticing and accessible than ever before.

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