56% of U.S. Adults Now Streaming: Nielsen

Web-based TV continue to grow with 56% of U.S. adults classified as streamers, up from 48% last year and 40% in 2017, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The percentage of households that can stream TV programming has grown to 65% in 2019 from 59% in 2918 and 51% in 2017, Nielsen said in its new Local Watch Report.

People are spending two hours and four minutes streaming per day, up from 1:56 last year and 1:52 in 2017.

Nielsen said that streamers are younger, earn more and probably have more education than non-streamers.

Austin is the top streaming market in terms of reach, with 70% of the adults there having streamed content in May. Adults in Cleveland spent the most time streaming, spending two hours and 29 minutes per day with their eyes on a connected devices.

Nielsen says that 77% of streamers have access to broadcast stations and cable networks through traditional distributors and virtual MVPDs. Linear broadcast stations are watched by 82% of streamers and almost 90% watch linear cable networks.

Nielsen said that streaming behavior continues to evolve and needs to be monitored by programmers and advertisers.

“As local markets continue to see growth in non-linear TV usage, deeper insights are needed to drive smarter business decisions,” the report said. “From Austin, where the largest percent of adults are reached, to Pittsburgh, where only 45% of adults stream, every entity that touches the local ad space in any market has to have clear insight into who’s watching what, and how. Nielsen is committed to keeping up with these changes to power insights and innovations that will help the ever-evolving industry continue to transform."

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.