It appears Netflix’s (Nasdaq: NFLX) reign as the top streaming platform is over, and it has been since September, according to data from Nielsen. YouTube remains the platform with the highest viewer share since September, signaling a growing viewing preference for creator-driven content.
Data from Nielsen shows that Americans used streaming services more than cable TV for the first time in July 2022, and they haven’t looked back. Streaming closed December with a 38.1% viewer share, up almost 36% year over year. Cable fell further to 30.9%, down 17% from the same period last year and 2.92% from November.
The rise in streaming share gave Netflix a year-over-year viewer share increase of 17%, while YouTube’s jumped 50%. Runners-up Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max didn’t show significant changes in the year, while Peacock+ claimed 1% for the first time ever in December.
YouTube’s rise in popularity as a mainstream content platform may have a lot to do with Gen Z, or viewers 18 to 24 years old. According to a recent blog post from YouTube, 65% of this generation “agree that content that’s personally relevant to them is more important than the content that lots of other people talk about,” making them lean more toward creator-driven versus celebrity content.
Many in this generation were born into a world that already had YouTube — and YouTube that’s available anytime on your phone — so it’s understandable how they watch significantly more creator content and less cable or linear TV content compared to the generations before them.
“More households are now growing up on YouTube as their main screen,” creator and journalist Jon Youshaei told YouTube. “So the household names of today are changing to the point where a lot of people don’t even know who some…traditional celebrities are.”
Netflix hasn’t given up trying to find ways to get more viewers. The third season of the streamer’s original show Stranger Things was the over most-streamed program in 2022 with 52 billion minutes, according to Nielsen data. The platform remains dominant in this list with both original and acquired programs.
The company also showed an increase in subscriptions from the third quarter to the fourth, with 7.66 million new users making up a total of 230.75 million, as new shows or seasons were released in Q4 including Stranger Things and the new favorite Wednesday.
Netflix has also rolled out a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier in October, and has been mulling over — to a fair amount of chaos — its plans for users piggybacking from other people’s subscription accounts.
Information for this story was found via Nielsen, YouTube, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.