Netflix, YouTube combine for over half of streaming time on TVs

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Nielsen’s report also found that 60% of Americans subscribe to more than one paid video streaming service. (Getty/FS-Stock)

The proliferation of connected devices and smart TVs has ensured that the largest screen in the house spends a good chunk of time streaming entertainment.

According to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report, consumers in OTT-capable homes are spending nearly one-fifth (19%) of their TV time streaming content through both subscription and ad-supported services.

“That’s a hefty amount of the already large media diet of audiences today, especially considering that the medium has only existed for a relatively short period of time,” wrote Nielsen in a blog post. “Not to mention, it’s a prime opportunity to easily reach consumers in the digital age, using interfaces that feel familiar and comfortable to them.”

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The measurement company broke that figure down, and found that Netflix and YouTube are eating up most of that time.

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During the fourth quarter, 31% of time spent streaming entertainment on TVs was used for Netflix, and 21% was used for YouTube. The study also showed that 12% of the time was for Hulu, 8% was for Amazon Prime Video, and 28% was dedicated to other streaming services.

Nielsen’s report also found that 60% of Americans subscribe to more than one paid video streaming service and that 93% of U.S. consumers said they will either increase or keep their existing streaming services.

That’s positive news for Disney+ and Apple TV+ along with upcoming streaming services including NBCUniversal’s Peacock and HBO Max.

Nielsen asked consumers about the most important aspects and features they look for in streaming services, and cost and ease of use topped the list. Seventy-nine percent of consumers said variety/availability of content was most important and 77% said streaming/playback quality was key. Menu recommendations and available live content were at the bottom of the list.

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