HBO Max reaches 1% share of TV viewing for the first time – Nielsen

Nielsen’s monthly TV viewing snapshot, the Gauge, shows that HBO Max hit a new threshold in April to capture a 1% share for TV viewing for the first time.

That moves the streaming service out of the Gauge’s “Other Streaming” category to stand on its own alongside other major streaming players that also account for at least 1% of TV viewing last month. Those include Netflix (6.6% in April), YouTube (6.1%) Hulu (3.3%), Amazon Prime Video (2.5%) and Disney+ (1.7%). Other streaming accounted for 9.2% share in April. 

As of the end of March HBO and HBO Max had 76.8 million global subscribers, up 12.8 million year over year, and after bringing in 3 million more than the prior quarter.

Now that WarnerMedia and Discovery completed their merger, Warner Bros. Discovery plans to create a simplified streaming offer that combines both HBO Max and Discovery+ into a comprehensive platform, though no timing has been announced for when the services might come together.

NextTV reported that JB Perette, Warner Bros. Discovery’s head of global streaming, said during the company’s upfront in New York this week it sees “a unique possibility to bring all these incredible stories and brands … across all these genres, in one, awesome global streaming product.”

The bump in share of TV viewing for HBO Max comes as overall streaming levels achieved another record high in April, accounting for 30.4% of total TV viewing, according to the Gauge. That beats out its earlier March record of 29.7%.

Nielsen_theguage_April 2022

Overall TV viewing was down since March, dropping 2.1%, but streaming volume stayed steady helping to boost its share.

Cable saw a 2.5% month over month decline in usage, but still represented the largest share of total TV viewing at 36.8%. It also saw sports viewing jump double digits (17%) from March, driven by the NBA playoffs and the NCAA Final Four. But the overall share was hurt by a drop in cable news viewing - the first in several months – of 16.9%.

TV viewing on broadcast was down 3% in April, which Nielsen attributed to a nearly 15% decrease in content from the drama genre as season finales started to air, as well as whopping 38% decline in sports on broadcast networks. Broadcast captured 24.7% of total TV viewing time in April.

Headline and intro updated to convey HBO Max's share of total TV viewing in April, rather than an earlier version which stated share of streaming.