Cratering Netflix Gained Viewing Share in March, Nielsen Says

Nielsen March Media Shares
(Image credit: Nielsen)

Netflix, reeling after the stunning announcement that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter, increased its share of viewing in the U.S. in March, according to new figures from Nielsen.

Nielsen said Netflix had a 6.6 share of viewing for the month, up from 6.4% in February. The news of Netflix’s first decline in subscribers sent Netflix shock down 35% in trading Wednesday.

Netflix’s viewing bounce contributed to a record 29.7% share of viewing for streaming. Viewing of YouTube, Hulu and Disney Plus were all up, while Amazon Prime Video was flat.

Overall viewing was down, and time spend with streaming content was down 4.2% from February.

Broadcast lost share, falling to 24.9% of viewing from 26% in February. Broadcast viewing was impacted by a 53% decrease in sports viewing compared to February when NBC aired the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics.

Drama programming stood out as the genre of choice for many broadcast consumers in March, increasing viewership by 17% from February and accounting for one-third of broadcast’s share. While broadcast news consumption remained relatively flat at 14% of broadcast viewing, the volume of broadcast news programming dropped 6% versus the prior month. 

Cable’s share rose to 36.9% from 35.4% and time spent viewing rose as well. Cable news viewing was up 14% from February and accounted for 21% of the cable share, driven by continuing news coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. ■

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.