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Streaming surpasses cable in July for first time ever

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Lead by Netflix, in July, more Americans tuned in to watch programming using streaming services than by cable or broadcast TV for the first time ever, according to ratings company Nielson Holdings. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cb5fecf1284ce012d383ee4b9d754162/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Lead by Netflix, in July, more Americans tuned in to watch programming using streaming services than by cable or broadcast TV for the first time ever, according to ratings company Nielson Holdings. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- For the first time ever, more Americans tuned in to watch programming using streaming services than by cable or broadcast TV, according to ratings company Nielson Holdings.

The company released its numbers for July on Thursday, which show streaming accounted for a record 34.8% share of total television consumption.

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Cable garnered 34.4%, while broadcast claimed a 21.6% share.

Streaming usage has surpassed broadcast viewing numbers before, however this is the first time it has also come out ahead of cable, the company said.

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Broadcast TV normally sees a lull in viewership during the summer months until networks return with new programming in the fall.

Streaming services Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube all had record-high shares in July after previously doing so in June.

Netflix captured the biggest share of overall TV viewing among streaming platforms with 8%. The number marks a record high for the service.

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"In addition to claiming the largest viewership share during the month, audiences watched an average of 190.9 billion minutes of streamed content per week -- easily surpassing the 169.9 billion minutes that audiences watched during the pandemic lockdown period back in April 2020," Nielson said in a news release.

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Cable viewing in July fell by 2%, or 0.7 share points, compared to June. It was down further on a year-over-year basis. July cable numbers dipped 8.9% and 3.3 share points compared to the same month last year.

Roughly the same number of Americans were watching some sort of programming in July compared to both the previous month and previous year.

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"Total time spent watching TV in July closely resembled that of both June 2022 and July 2021, but despite these similarities, the change in the distribution of viewing formats on a year-over-year basis further demonstrates how viewing behaviors continue to shift," the company said on its website.

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