YouTube and Peacock Hit New Milestones in Streaming

Nielsen stats reveal how both platforms reached viewership highs.

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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.
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Kourtnee Jackson
2 min read
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Streaming viewership was up in January, with YouTube and Peacock carving out milestones above the competition and beating traditional TV. Audiences tuned in for scripted originals and sports, according to a new report from Nielsen, with YouTube being the top streamer for 12 months in a row and Peacock raking in football fans. 

Nielsen measures TV viewing habits and trends across the country for cable, streaming, and traditional TV, and shares data through its report, The Gauge. The company's SVP of product strategy Brian Fuhrer says YouTube viewership increased by 3.9% in January, and it marks a full year of the Google-owned video platform being the top streaming service in the US. In a blog post, YouTube attributed its success to people watching its content on TVs. "Viewers globally now watch more than 1 billion hours on average of YouTube content on their TVs every day and the number of top creators that receive the majority of their watchtime on TVs has increased by more than 400%."

Though Netflix and Prime Video snagged second and third place for January viewership, Peacock made the greatest strides and set an all-new record with its exclusive NFL game broadcast between the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins. 

The NBC-owned platform racked up 3.9 billion viewing minutes on Jan. 13 -- its largest audience reach at a time -- by airing the playoff game, and helped drive the biggest day in streaming since Nielsen launched its first Gauge report in May 2021. Fuhrer notes that January 2024 accounts for nine of the top 10 "highest volume streaming days ever," with roughly 40 billion total minutes of viewing on Jan. 13. Sports and originals gave streaming a boost. 

Moving into February, audiences are likely to watch more broadcast TV shows and streaming originals with sports picking back up in March thanks to March Madness. For more streaming coverage, check out our best lists for live TV and on-demand streaming platforms