Kids push TV usage up in June, with 90% of their increased usage coming from non-traditional sources

Nielsen – Insights: Streaming captures 37.7% of total TV viewing; Paramount+ enters with 1% of TV usage

As kids closed their books to end another school year, TV usage trends in June began to turn the corner after a four-month seasonal lull that began in February. For kids 2-17, streaming and video gaming provided a nice break from the classroom—and a 2.2% increase in total TV usage across all age groups.

Among kids 2-17, non-traditional TV options accounted for 90% of their increased usage. Kids 2-11 increased their TV time by 16.3%, while kids 12-17 spent 24.1% more time with TV compared with May.

  • Among kids 2-11, streaming accounted for 62% of the increase, and “other” usage accounted for 30%, primarily attributed to video game console usage.
  • Among kids 12-17, the increased time was fairly evenly split at 43% and 46% for streaming and other, respectively.

Compared with relatively flat cable usage and a 6.6% drop in broadcast usage, streaming usage jumped 5.8% to secure 37.7% of total TV, a new high-water mark. S.W.A.T. played a big role in that increase, attracting almost 5 billion minutes after becoming available on Netflix in mid-May alongside Hulu and Paramount+. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was another audience pleaser, generating almost 1 billion minutes of viewing after season 2 dropped in mid-June. The boost helped Paramount+ capture 1% of TV viewing and obtain stand-alone coverage in The GaugeTM. Other streaming highlights included:

  • Tubi TV was the leading FAST service, as usage increased 12.1% to account for 1.4% of TV usage (up from 1% in February 2023 and tied with Max).
  • Disney+ benefited from increased kids viewing, as usage grew 11.9% to account for 2% of TV.
  • Max usage jumped 16.5% to gain 0.2 share points.
  • YouTube usage inched closer to 9% of TV usage, and Netflix gained 0.3 share points to capture 8.2% of TV.

Within traditional TV programming, cable and broadcast usage reflected trends that are typical for summer. Broadcast viewing accounted for just 20.8% of total TV, reflecting a new low-water mark. Cable usage inched up 0.4% on the strength of feature films (up 10%) and news (up 6.6%) but lost 0.6 share points due to the increase in total TV usage. The NBA Conference finals were the top program on cable, but they weren’t enough to offset a 38% drop-in sports viewing on cable. Comparatively, they helped drive a 31.7% increase in sports viewing on broadcast. On a year-over-year basis, broadcast usage was down 5.6% and cable viewing was down 11.6%.

Even with minimal new programming on broadcast and cable, the expanding array of streaming options and engaging content showcases the ongoing attraction of the TV—and everything it provides access to. That access may become critical for those who opt to seek refuge from the rising heat and wait out the dog days of summer indoors with all that our TVs can now deliver right to our living rooms.