More people are watching streaming video than cable TV but Apple TV+ barely registers

Netflix on iPhone X
(Image credit: Future)

July was a bit of a milestone for streaming services, with new numbers claiming that more people watched TV via such a service than they did by using a traditional cable offering. It's the first time that has been the case.

The numbers come via Nielsen’s monthly Gauge platform rankings, reported on by THR. According to those numbers, almost 35% of people watched their content via a streaming service like Netflix or Apple TV+, while a little over 34% watched using traditional cable platforms.

Netflix is the big dog

THR reports that one of the reasons for a strong showing was Netflix's Stranger Things, a show which managed to pull in an insane number of viewers. "The high mark for July was fueled by Netflix’s Stranger Things — which racked up 18 billion minutes of viewing time for the month — and other big titles, including The Umbrella Academy and The Boys," the report notes. "Streamers gained more than six share points compared to July 2021 (28.3 percent to 34.8 percent), an increase of almost 23 percent."

Nielsen broke down the 34.8% of TV use that went to streamers, with Netflix taking 8% of the pie compared to all other sources of content. YouTube came in second, but there was no place for Apple TV+ — Apple's streaming service instead has to settle for a place in the "all others" category instead.

  • Netflix: 8%
  • YouTube (including YouTube TV): 7.3%
  • Hulu (including Hulu + Live): 3.6%
  • Prime Video: 3%
  • Disney+: 1.8%
  • HBO Max: 1%
  • All others: 10.2%

The win for streaming comes as prices are increasing and new ad-free tiers are being added. Both Disney+ and Netflix are looking for new ways to pull in subscribers, while Apple TV+ remains some of the best value around thanks to its low $4.99 per month price and lack of ads.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.