The cord has been cut. Streaming is more watched than cable

For the first time, Americans are watching more streaming TV than cable. according to Nielsen report. This milestone is long overdue as viewers change their viewing habits and ditch expensive cable bundles for cheaper alternatives.

In July, the share of streaming in total TV consumption was 34.8%, up nearly 23% over the past year. The audience of cable and broadcast television has fallen compared to last year: the former accounted for 34.4%, and the latter – only 21.6%. Both are down about 10% since July 2021.

Nielsen notes that streaming has outperformed broadcast in the past, but “this is the first time it has also surpassed cable.” Netflix, Hulu and YouTube also received record high shares. Netflix (NFLKS) be the biggest streaming platform thanks to the new season of Stranger Things.

The report’s findings are not surprising, but they are a watershed moment for both the typical American TV viewer and the industry. Entertainment companies are spending billions of dollars to support their streaming services in order to be confident in the future. But the glory days of streaming may be over: the war for subscribers at any cost is over.

Disney (DIS) raises prices after losing a lot of money on various streaming services. Recently, Netflix raised prices and began cracking down on password disclosure. Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of CNN, is ditching movies and series left and right and abandoning its controversial “everything under one streaming roof” strategy. All three services are expanding their advertising offerings.

Streaming itself isn’t going anywhere – it’s Hollywood’s present and future – but it looks like the spending now and the questions in the days to come are coming to an end as these services evolve and media companies cling to what makes money.

“The streaming wars are over because subscriber growth has stalled,” Michael Nathanson, media analyst at MoffettNathanson, told CNN Business. “You are waging war on a land that no longer has resources.”

— Frank Pallotta of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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