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Roku Channel gets picked up by Nielsen’s The Gauge

The free streaming service captured 1.1 percent of the domestic television audience in May.

The free streaming service captured 1.1 percent of the domestic television audience in May.

A Roku menu is displayed on a smart television set.
A Roku menu is displayed on a smart television set. (Graphic by The Desk)

The Roku Channel has become the latest free, ad-supported streaming service to be specifically named on Nielsen Media’s measurement product The Gauge.

Roku’s free streaming service captured 1.1 percent of total television viewership in the domestic market during the month of May, Nielsen said. Fox Corporation’s Tubi, which was first listed on The Gauge with 1 percent share in March, grew to capture 1.9 percent of total TV viewing, Nielsen said, while Paramount Global’s Pluto TV grabbed 0.9 percent.

YouTube continues to be the big winner among streaming television services, with 8.5 percent of total time spent on that platform, according to Nielsen. The figure does not include YouTube TV or YouTube Music, but does include YouTube Premium.

Among subscription-based services, Netflix grabbed 7.9 percent of streaming time in May, followed by Disney’s Hulu and Amazon’s Prime Video. Disney Plus had 1.8 percent, while HBO Max (which rebranded to Max that month) had 1.2 percent.

Netflix and Amazon gained the most momentum in May, thanks in part to several series and movies that proved popular with streamers. Those titles included “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” “A Man Called Otto,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Citadel,” Nielsen said.

Overall television viewership across all platforms — including broadcast and cable — fell 4.4 percent during May. The dip was attributed to a 5.5 percent decline in broadcast viewership and a 5.4 percent drop in cable consumption throughout the month. Nielsen said weak sports viewing was partially to blame, despite the fact that May had several playoff and championship series from pro sports.

Compared to 2022, cable television consumption is down 13.7 percent, while broadcast TV viewership dipped 5.6 percent, Nielsen said.