It was bound to happen, and it finally, officially did. Americans now spend more time watching content on streaming services than on the combo platter of broadcast and cable TV.
July of 2022 is when the cord cutting reached a climax, and the likes of Netflix, Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu, Disney, Apple, Amazon Prime, and others put ABC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, and Fox in their rearview mirror.
That’s not excellent news for the traditional broadcasters because the gap will only widen. In July, streaming in U.S. households represented 34.8% share of total consumption. Cable registered 34.4%, and down there in third place was broadcast at 21.6%.
So, if the streamers are starting to flex, the next big question is who will stand out in that cluttered field to take the lead. Netflix has its own set of problems with its business model, but they still get the largest share of TV viewing of all the streamers at 8%. They can thank “Stranger Things 4,” their new monster hit that garnered almost 18 billion viewing minutes just in the month of July.
Youtube was second at 7.3%, followed by Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Broadcast has something to look forward to that will change its fortunes like it always does; NFL football specifically and sports content in general. July is a lull with the major networks as they show re-runs, and it’s the deadest time of the year in the sports world.
One of the best things about streaming, when it launched, is that much of it was delivered uninterrupted by commercials. The initial revenue model relied on the subscription base monthly payments for the streaming companies, but that will undoubtedly change. Industry analysts point to a future in streaming that most definitely will include advertising. Netflix has pointed that out on their past two earnings calls with Wall Street and is currently working on how they will roll it out.