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Streaming has surpassed cable as America’s most-watched viewing platform

Streaming services now command a greater share of viewers than cable, data published by Nielsen show.

That means apps like Netflix and other streaming platforms capture 38% of all television viewing, compared with 31% for traditional cable, the data show.

In a sign of streaming’s rapid rise, as recently as May 2021, the shares were 26% for streaming and 39% for cable.

But as of June, YouTube alone comprised nearly 9% of all TV usage, while Netflix captured 8.2%.

Netflix on Wednesday touted the overall jump in streaming as a percentage of all TV viewing in its quarterly letter to shareholders.

‘Consumers have so many amazing entertainment choices — from movies and TV shows to sports and news to gaming and social media just to name a few,’ the company said. ‘We expect that competition will remain intense, including within streaming.’

Netflix shares fell in Thursday trading as it reported weaker-than-expected revenues. Still, at least one analyst, Bank of America’s Jessica Reif Ehrlich, said she considers Netflix stock a ‘buy,’ with a share price that is likely to increase in the coming years.

‘Within the media ecosystem, we believe (Netflix’s) depth/breadth of content positions them well to withstand the production reductions,’ Reif Ehrlich wrote.

The news comes as the entertainment industry has slowed dramatically because of an ongoing stalemate between production studios and the writers and actors who help create content. The Writers Guild of America and film and TV performers represented by the SAG-AFTRA union are striking as they seek better compensation and stronger protections for their work.

It’s the first time since 1960 that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have engaged in a strike at the same time.

It remains to be seen what impact the work stoppages will have on the entertainment industry going forward but, at least for now, streaming platforms like Netflix have still managed to enjoy some wins.

Netflix announced it added 5.9 million new subscribers globally in the second quarter following its crackdown on password sharing. The company said it expected to gain about that much in the next quarter as well.

This post appeared first on NBC NEWS
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