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We Watched More TV on Streaming Than Cable for First Time Ever, Nielsen Says

People streamed 191 billion minutes of TV per week in July.

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Andrew Blok is a former editor for CNET who covered home energy, with a focus on solar. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
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Streamers were king of the hill in July.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Streaming services captured the largest share of television viewing for the first time ever in July, according to data released Thursday from Nielsen, the television ratings authority. Of all the TV watching time in July, 34.8% happened over streaming while 34.4% happened over cable. Broadcast TV captured a 21.6% share of the total.

Nielsen noted that streaming has surpassed broadcast before, but July marked the first time it's also exceeded cable viewing. Cable television's share of viewing fell about 9% from July 2021, while streaming's share increased by nearly 23% year over year, according to the report. 

Netflix captured 8% of all viewing in July 2022, thanks in part to people watching nearly 18 billion minutes of the hit series Stranger Things, according to the Nielsen data. Several other streaming services -- including Amazon Prime, YouTube and Hulu -- captured their largest-ever share of viewing time in July.

It's a time of change and increasing competition among streamers. Both Disney Plus and Netflix will be rolling out new ad-supported tiers in the coming months. Netflix had its largest drop in subscribers ever recently and is looking for ways to limit password sharing after raising prices at the beginning of 2022. Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu (all majority-owned by Disney) will all see price increases in the near future, too. HBO Max and Discovery Plus will merge starting in 2023 after their their parent companies did so earlier this year.