Streaming Soars: Summer Sees Viewership Surge for Top Streaming Services

Here's a look at which paid and free services you've been streaming the most.

Kourtnee Jackson Writer
Kourtnee covers TV streaming services and home entertainment news and reviews at CNET. She previously worked as an entertainment reporter at Showbiz Cheat Sheet where she wrote about film, television, music, celebrities, and streaming platforms.
Expertise Kourtnee is a longtime cord-cutter who's subscribed to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Crunchyroll, Sling, Spotify and more. As a real-life user of these services, she tracks the latest developments in streaming, the newest re Credentials
  • Though Kourtnee hasn't won any journalism awards yet, she's been a Netflix streaming subscriber since 2012 and knows the magic of its hidden codes.
Kourtnee Jackson
2 min read
tv remote control showing streaming platform buttons

TV streaming has surpassed linear TV and cable this summer.

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Streaming surpassed traditional TV platforms to set a new high in July, Nielsen reported Tuesday. Streaming accounted for 38.7% of TV consumption during the month, while broadcast TV and cable attracted 20% and 29.6% of viewers, respectively. A spike in June -- which Nielsen attributes to kids' summer vacation -- highlighted a trend that saw streaming outpace all other TV platforms by at least 6% of viewership share. 

Per Nielsen, for kids ages 2 to 17, "non-traditional TV options accounted for 90% of their increased usage," with streaming making up 62% of that bump for those ages 2 to 11. However, they're not the only ones enjoying what's on TV, with adults turning to Netflix, Tubi and other services this season. 

Read more: Best Streaming Service Deals for Peacock, Hulu, Starz and More

Top streaming services of the summer 

What are you watching the most this summer? YouTube took the top spot in June and July, and free streaming services like Tubi and Roku have gotten a piece of the pie too. The top 10 most-streamed platforms in July are listed below. In June, Paramount Plus and Roku Channel sat in reverse positions.

  1. YouTube 
  2. Netflix 
  3. Hulu
  4. Prime Video
  5. Disney Plus
  6. Max
  7. Tubi
  8. Peacock
  9. Roku Channel
  10. Paramount Plus
streaming pie chart that shows viewership percentages

New releases and children's programming helped pushed streaming services to the top, with shows like Prime Video's Jack Ryan, Bluey on Disney Plus and Suits on Netflix contributing to the increase. Nielsen reports that three services reached "all-time high" status -- YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video -- while gaming consoles make up the "other streaming" category. 

To learn more about CNET's streaming TV coverage, check our our best streaming services list and our picks for free streaming services