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Women Are From Hulu, Men Are From YouTube, Says Nielsen Data

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Do men and women stream from different services? Early data says yes. The first results are in from the Nielsen Streaming Meter—the measurement company's new method of quantifying exactly what and how much streamed content households watch—and they show gender playing a big role in viewing.

Delivering those results was Brian Fuhrer, Nielsen's senior vice president of product leadership, speaking at the Advertising Research Foundation's OTT conference in New York City today. The Nielsen Streaming Meter is now in around 1,000 U.S. homes that actively use at least 1 connected device.

Streaming overall is gender balanced, Nielsen found, but what we watch isn't. Hulu viewers are 62 percent female while YouTube viewers are 55 percent male. The audiences for Netflix and Amazon are more balanced. Perhaps the success of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale was the reason for Hulu's win with women, Fuhrer suggested, wondering if the percentage would hold over time.

Streaming is for the young, as over a quarter of all streaming is done by people under 18-years-old. For YouTube, nearly half of streaming is by people under 18.

The device people use for streaming also determines what they're watching: Nielsen found that 55 percent of Amazon Fire TV viewing is spent on Amazon content. Netflix is equally popular on all devices, while YouTube is stronger on game consoles.

Looking at all homes, Nielsen finds streaming makes up 12 percent of total TV viewing. Of that streaming time, 48 percent is spent with Netflix content. That means around 6 percent of all TV viewing is spent watching Netflix, Fuhrer noted.

Fuhrer also presented data on the changing ways U.S. viewers get their video. Streaming video-on-demand (SVOD) services are used by 59 percent of households (up 11 percent from the previous year), DVRs by 54 percent (up 5 percent), video game consoles by 43 percent (down 2 percent), multimedia devices (such as Roku boxes and Apple TVs) by 33 percent (up 24 percent), and connected TVs by 31 percent (up 27 percent). While DVR use is trending up, Fuhrer notes that how we get that content is changing, with DVR use moving from hardware boxes to cloud storage. Connected TV use is up by a large amount because interfaces are getting easier, he noted.

In the U.S., 62.5 percent of TV households are internet TV-enabled, Fuhrer said, meaning they access a streaming service with a connected device. That's up from 53 percent a year ago. Netflix is the most popular SVOD, in 59 percent of homes with an SVOD subscription, while Amazon is in 31 percent and Hulu in 13 percent.

"The more options you can give consumers with a better experience, the happier they'll be," Fuhrer said. "Streaming is definitely no longer an edge case."

The big gap in Nielsen's numbers is vMVPDs, or skinny bundles. Watch this space, Fuhrer said, as the company is just beginning to collect data on these lower-priced pay TV alternatives.

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