HBO Max Broken Out in Nielsen Streaming Estimates for First Time, Notches 1% Share of April TV Viewing

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For the first time, Nielsen has reported TV time spent viewing estimates for HBO Max — with the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned service coming in with a 1% share for April 2022, as the streaming sector overall took its highest share of U.S. TV viewing to date.

HBO Max previously was included in Nielsen’s “other streaming” category. The measurement firm broke it out now that HBO Max hit the 1% share threshold. As of the end of March, HBO Max and HBO had 48.6 million domestic subscribers, up 1.8 million from the prior quarter.

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For April, Netflix took the No. 1 spot among streamers with 6.6% share of time spent viewing on TV in April, followed by YouTube (6.1%), Hulu (3.3%), Amazon’s Prime Video (2.5%) and Disney+ (1.7%).

Overall, streaming saw another record-breaking month — beating the previous record set in March — grabbing 30.4% share, its highest of total TV viewing to date. Although overall TV viewing time decreased by 2.1% from March (which Nielsen says is typical for this time of year), time spent streaming in April was flat month-over-month.

Both broadcast and cable saw a decrease in viewing, down by 3% and 2.5%, respectively. For broadcast, there was a 14.7% decline in drama viewing and a 38.2% drop in sports viewing, according to Nielsen. The dip in cable viewing was driven by a 16.9% decline in news viewing, somewhat offset by a 17% increase in sports fueled by the viewing of the NCAA basketball finals and NBA.

The data for Nielsen’s The Gauge estimates combines two separately weighted panels. Streaming data is derived from a subset of the firm’s Streaming Meter-enabled U.S. TV households within the Nielsen National TV panel, and the linear TV sources and total usage are based on viewing from Nielsen’s overall TV panel.

Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, for the week of April 18-24, the No. 1 most-streamed title in the U.S. was “Better Call Saul,” whose first five seasons are on Netflix, with 821 million minutes. That came as AMC premiered Season 6 of the drama on April 18. In addition, Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” — with all five seasons also available on Netflix — took 10th place on Nielsen’s licensed-content streaming chart with 310 million minutes viewed. That gave Netflix a combined 1.13 billion viewing minutes across the two shows.

Disney+’s “Moon Knight” from Marvel, the only non-Netflix title to crack Nielsen’s top 10 streaming chart for the week of April 18, generated 630 million viewing minutes, compared with 638 million the prior week.

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