US TV household data reveals shifting trends in how audiences access content. The data comes from a survey conducted by Nielsen consulting firm, published in January. Even though 60% of users consume it through cable or direct broadcast satellite, access to TV content is usually complimentary. The study analyzes the behavior of TV audiences in the US through three access channels to content: cable/direct broadcast satellite, broadband internet, and over-the-air (OTA) antenna. The way to access content is usually not exclusive: streaming tends to complement both cable box users and those who choose free OTA programming.
CTV usage, which allows audiences to access anything the internet offers, had grown to account for more than 38% of total TV usage among adults as of the second quarter of 2023, primarily due to elections. On the other hand, according to Gracenote Global Video Data, 84% of studio-produced video titles available to US audiences are available on streaming platforms.
The recent ramp-up in CTV adoption has significantly amplified streaming usage over the last year: Streaming has accounted for more than one-third of total TV usage in the US While widespread CTV adoption signals a new era in how audiences access content, it has created a misconception that viewers no longer watch linear programming. The reality is quite the opposite: regardless of how a home accesses TV content, more than 90% watch some amount of linear programming.
Although nearly 40% of households accessed TV content through broadband internet in September 2023, having CTV access doesn't necessarily mean audiences are only watching on-demand content. In fact, in October, 82% of households with broadband-only access watched linear programming, showing a 3% point increase from earlier in the year.