That’s a big change from the standard line from streaming companies in recent years, which has been that Nielsen’s measurement doesn’t provide a full picture of streaming’s reach. In 2017, when Nielsen released some viewer figures for the second season of Stranger Things, Netflix said the numbers were “not even close” to accurate. (Hastings also told the Times that the weekly program rankings for streaming are “not very relevant” for SVOD platforms like Netflix that don’t sell ads.)
Netflix also has reason to tout the Nielsen findings, as they show that the company accounted for 6 percent of all TV usage in May. That’s tied with YouTube (including the YouTube TV bundle) for first among streamers; each makes up more than a fifth of all streaming time on TV. Hulu (including its live TV service) took up 3 percent of TV time, Amazon’s Prime Video 2 percent and Disney+ 1 percent. All other streaming combined — including Apple TV+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Discovery+ — made up 8 percent of of total usage.
Analysts suspect that the shift is due to the pandemic, which changed the entire landscape of the entertainment industry.
“The past year has categorically shifted the television viewing landscape,” Brian Fuhrer, senior VP of product strategy at Nielsen, said. “Even as people begin to dive back into their pre-pandemic activities, based on the changes many made to enable streaming coupled with the variety of newly introduced services, we expect people to keep sampling and exploring their options. Maybe just as importantly, as production ramps back up, new content will enter the space, driving additional traction.”
Netflix supported Nielsen’s data, telling The New York Times that the firm is “in a good place to referee or score-keep how streaming is changing the U.S. television landscape,” Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said.
Read Also: THE MANDALORIAN Dismantles Netflix for First Time on Nielsen Streaming Chart
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