59% Of All Homes Now Have a Streaming Enabled Screen

Nielsen found even with OTT growth, people are still watching the old way

San Diego leads the way among local markets using connected devices. Getty Images
Headshot of A.J. Katz

Americans are consuming more streaming content on more devices, Nielsen reveals in its latest Local Watch Report.

As of November 2017, 65.3 million U.S. homes had an internet enabled device capable of streaming content to the TV (about 59 percent of the population). That’s up 9.7 percent from from 59.5 million in November 2016.

Adweek covered the trend of OTT usage on the local level in our April 16 issue, using Nielsen data included in this quarterly report.

Those who stream TV are streaming a lot. According to the report, adults from the 25-54 age demographic consume two hours and 28 minutes of streaming content per day. The average user streamed content 12 days of every month.

The market-by-market breakdown of OTT usage is of note. Urban areas, like Los Angeles, and more educated markets, like San Francisco, and tech-savvy Seattle are streaming more than consumers in smaller markets.

Nielsen found that in homes where the head of house is less than 35 years old, they are:

  • 34 percent more likely to have a streaming device than the average home
  • 17 percent more likely to include people who have a college degree
  • 65 percent White
  • 15 percent Hispanic
  • 13 percent Black

Among the trends to watch, growth in mid-size markets.

San Diego is currently winning the streaming usage race among mid-size markets with 71 percent of homes now having access to an enabled device.

Salt Lake City is right behind at 69 percent. The sheer size and topography of that market is leading to a surge in OTT homes. Said Tanya Vea, general manager of  Salt Lake City’s NBC affiliate, “We are the largest DMA in the country in terms of distance and space, and we have a lot of areas where it’s difficult to get cable and satellite into.”

While OTT usage is increasingly growing in variety of Nielsen-measured markets, the overwhelming majority of adults 25-54 are still supplementing their streaming TV viewing with traditional linear TV viewing. On a typical day in November, Nielsen found 93 percent of streamers still watched linear TV.

@ajkatztv aj.katz@adweek.com A.J. Katz is the senior editor of Adweek's TVNewser.