Back-to-school presses pause on streaming’s gain according to The Gauge

Back-to-school presses pause on streaming’s gain according to The Gauge

After three months of consecutive growth, the rise of streaming took a pause this month, according to the August release of The Gauge, Nielsen’s Total TV and Streaming viewing snapshot. 

Compared to July, The Gauge’s reported August numbers remained mostly static, belying two strong undercurrents of change: the revival of a largely in-person school season and one of the highest-profile events in sports, The Olympics.

Streaming overall was relatively flat, but changes in viewership among back-to-school-aged kids 6-17 were more pronounced, decreasing by 7.5% since July according to detail from Nielsen’s Streaming Video Ratings. Despite the academic year’s impact, more adult-oriented streaming platforms did see gains in the “Other Streaming” category, increasing by 1 share point. 

However, Total TV use was up about 0.5%, with broadcast showing gains of 2.9%. The Olympics were a driver of the broadcast boost, dominating television rankings each night they aired. Other notable sporting events in August included the MLB Field of Dreams game on Broadcast and the NFL Hall of Fame game on Cable.

Take me to the methodology details below.

Watch the video to hear Brian Fuhrer, SVP, Product Strategy at Nielsen dive into the interesting underpinnings of The Gauge. Stay tuned to see who will win the competition for viewers next month, as more students go back to school around the country and with the return of a new broadcast season. 


The Gauge provides a monthly macroanalysis of how consumers are accessing content across key television delivery platforms, including Broadcast, Streaming, Cable and Other sources. It also includes a breakdown of the major, individual streaming distributors. The chart itself shows the share by category and of total television usage by individual streaming distributors.