Sunday, June 23, 2024

Disney Grabs Highest Share of TV Viewing in April — With YouTube a Solid Second

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New data from Nielsen shows that Disney grabs the biggest share of TV viewing among all media companies in the United States — and has for the past six months.

In addition to its monthly Gauge rankings of viewing by platform (streaming, cable and broadcast), Nielsen is also providing a monthly look at TV usage by media company. The ratings provider is calling it the Media Distributor Gauge, and it shows that for April, Disney grabbed the most viewing time of any conglomerate with 11.5 percent of all TV use.

That figure includes streaming on Hulu and Disney+ — which accounted for 4.9 percent of all TV use for the reporting period (which ran from April 1-28) — as well as ABC, ESPN and Disney’s other cable and streaming properties. ABC and ESPN carried the most watched single telecast in April — the record-breaking NCAA women’s basketball championship game, which clocked in at 18.87 million viewers.

Finishing a strong second in the distributor rankings is YouTube, which has been the top individual streaming platform for a year, at 9.6 percent. NBC Universal (8.9 percent), Paramount (8.8 percent) and Warner Bros. Discovery (8.1 percent) make up the rest of the top five, and Netflix (7.6 percent) is sixth.

Here’s a look at every media distributor that had at least 1 percent of all TV viewing in April:

Nielsen’s Media Distributor Gauge Chart for April

Courtesy of Nielsen

Two surprises farther down the list are Scripps Networks (which include Ion and Bounce TV) and Weigel Broadcasting (MeTV), which together accounted for almost 4 percent of TV use in April. The Roku Channel is the only standalone FAST service to make the list at 1.4 percent — Tubi and Pluto TV are rolled into the tallies for Fox and Paramount, respectively — and cable mainstays A+E Networks, Hallmark and AMC Networks just cross the 1 percent threshold for inclusion in the rankings. The 14 companies in the rankings accounted for 72.6 percent of all TV viewing for the month.

Nielsen also provided distributor data going back six months, with Disney leading each one dating back to November 2023 and averaging about 11.4 percent of TV use over that time. NBCU and Paramount finished second or third from November to January, thanks in large part to NFL games on their respective broadcast networks, and Paramount nearly overtook Disney in February, when CBS aired the Super Bowl. Both dropped behind YouTube for March and April.

In the traditional Gauge rankings for April, cable was the only platform to gain in share of viewing, rising to 29.1 percent from 28.3 percent in March — thanks largely to an upswing in sports with the close of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournament, the opening games of the NBA and NHL playoffs and the NFL draft. Streaming (38.4 percent of TV usage) and broadcast (22.2 percent) each fell by a fraction of a point; other TV use made up the remaining amount.

Rankings of individual streaming services for April are as follows:

YouTube: 9.6 percent of all TV use
Netflix: 7.6 percent
Prime Video: 3.2 percent
Hulu: 3.1 percent
Disney+: 1.8 percent
Tubi: 1.7 percent
Roku Channel: 1.4 percent
Peacock: 1.3 percent
Max: 1.2 percent
Paramount+: 1 percent
Pluto TV: 0.8 percent
All others: 5.8 percent

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