Each month, Nielsen releases its “Gauge” data update, which gives us a broad overview of how Americans watch television. This includes linear and streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu.

May’s data has now been revealed, highlighting how streaming is now the most common way to watch television, as May marked record highs in the share of TV usage by streaming.  However, linear is still leading the way when cable and broadcast television are combined, though if you can get access to an aerial, having the combination of broadcast television and streaming services, you should be able to get the majority of shows you want to see.

During the summer months, it’s common for television viewership to drop, as people spend more time outside and there are often viewing new releases due to it being the quieter time of the year for television.

Without a doubt, Netflix continues to be the most popular streaming service; though YouTube is the most popular platform, it offers very different content from the other platforms out there.

Hulu is the second most-watched streaming service in the United States, with Amazon Prime Video just behind it.  Showcasing why Hulu is so important to Disney’s future streaming plans.

However, while the viewership of Disney+ is around the same, it’s likely going to be overtaken by the free streaming service, Tubi.

It should come as no surprise to see that Tubi is continuing to pull in audiences. It’s completely free to use, though there are commercials, and it offers a wide selection of on-demand shows and films, plus traditional linear-style channels.   With the rising cost of everything and streaming platforms continuing to increase prices, it’s easy to see why people are turning to Free ad-supported platforms.

Ultimately, Hulu and Disney+ are now starting to merge together slowly; following the introduction of Hulu On Disney+, it’s unknown how this impacts Nielsen’s data.  If someone is watching, i.e., Hulu’s “Shogun” via Disney+, what app does it get registered to? 

The combined viewership of Disney+ and Hulu is 4.9%, which keeps Disney’s streaming services very much behind Netflix.  But until Comcast’s stake in Hulu is resolved, we are unlikely to see any major changes for a while.

Disney+ is likely going to continue to lose some of its audience share, as each month, fewer and fewer new or classic titles are added to keep audiences coming back, unless they have the Hulu bundle, which will mean new content is being added daily.    With only one or two major new originals being released each month on Disney+, many subscribers are finding it hard to justify keeping their subscription and if you’re looking to cut costs, streaming services are often one of the first things to be either cut or trimmed down.

There has been talk of Disney+ adding in some genre channels to try to encourage more engagement, but Disney can’t ignore the growth of FAST services.  Most of the major streaming services offer ad-supported tiers to help keep prices down, but Tubi is doing something right as audiences are tuning in more and more.  

Many studios, including Disney, are licensing their content to Tubi for additional revenue, but will they rethink their strategy or decide to fight back by offering free tiers on their platforms, though the number of ads served will likely be even higher?

Roger’s Take:  Disney needs to keep an eye on Tubi.  You can’t beat free, and ultimately, Tubi is reliant on other studios’ content.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney eventually offers a free tier with limited access to some content in order to boost its viewership and advertising revenue while hoping people might upgrade to get all the content and more ads.  But it’s likely in the next few months, Tubi will overtake Disney+ in terms of viewership, which highlights how Disney+ has become so stale in the past year, with fewer releases, and many of the new shows are just not clicking with audiences enough to pull in new viewers.

Did you watch anything on Tubi in May?  Let me know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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