CTV Insights & Tools

An active news cycle provides a back-to-back TV share increase for cable in April

Total TV usage trended down another 1.9% in April, as is typical when the weather starts to warm up. Yet despite the drop in total usage, an active news cycle contributed to a second month of share gains for cable, which picked up 0.4 share points to account for 31.5% of TV usage. The gain represents the first back-to-back increase for cable since the launch of The GaugeTM in May 2021.

The strength of the news cycle helped cable remain largely stable from a usage perspective, as cable viewing was down just 0.6% from March. In fact, news was the only cable genre that didn’t experience a dip in usage. News viewing was up 4.3%, accounting for 19% of cable usage in April. Former President Trump’s court appearance in New York on April 4 fueled daily usage spikes of 93%, 44% and 39% on CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, respectively. On a year-over-year perspective, cable content viewership was down 12% (5.3 share points). 

Broadcast usage dipped 2.7% in April, losing 0.2 share points to account for 23.1% of total TV use. The NCAA basketball tournament and The Masters golf tournament were the most-viewed broadcast programs, but sports viewing did slide 17.1% in aggregate to account for just 9.6% of the category. Dramas attracted a 2.1% viewing increase, driven by titles like NCIS, Blue Bloods and Chicago Fire. On a year-over-year perspective, broadcast viewing was down 3.7% (1.6 share points). 

In the streaming space, competition is causing shifts in usage shares, while seasonality contributed to a 2.1% dip in viewing across the category. Netflix viewing, for example, dropped 7%, translating to a loss of 0.4 share point, despite having the top two programs from a viewing perspective: The Night Agent and Love is Blind. Comparatively, usage increased across the two newest free, ad-supported options in The Gauge: Tubi TV usage grew 6% and Pluto TV usage increased 3.9%. Other highlights:

  • While Disney+ viewership was down 1.7%, The Mandalorian was the third-most streamed title in April.
  • YouTube, excluding YouTube TV, remained the most-used platform, with usage increasing 1.5% to help the platform capture 8.1% of TV usage. 
  • Viewership to “other streaming” resulted in an increase of 0.1 share points in April, with multiple platforms inching toward the 1% threshold to be reported individually.

Nielsen offers you Digital Ad Ratings and the Streaming Video Ratings Report if you're looking for Cross-Platform Measurement insights.





Few areas of the media landscape have taken the spotlight over the last year like streaming video has, fueled by increasing consumption and a wealth of new platform and content options. In June 2021, for example, streaming accounted for 27% of total TV time in the U.S., much of which is attributable to the fact that 77% of U.S. homes now have at least one connected device.

Given the growth in consumption and accompanying advertising opportunities, it’s not surprising that 60% of U.S. advertisers say they plan to shift ad dollars from linear TV to either connected TV (CTV) or over-the-top (OTT) this year. But given the breadth of the CTV universe, identifying ad opportunities isn’t always clear, and neither are many of the terms and acronyms that marketers and industry participants use, such as programmatic, CTV, OTT and advanced TV.

This glossary aggregates many of the terms and acronyms used to provide clarity amid a quickly evolving and important space in the broader media industry.


Ad Sequencing

Ad serving method where a set of ads are shown in a predefined order i.e. creative B is shown after a user has been exposed to creative A.

Advanced TV

All non-traditional TV. It’s the umbrella term encompassing over the top, connected TV and addressable TV.


Ad-supported video-on-demand.

Behavioral Data

Data that represents buying and media consumption actions and habits.

Connected TV

TVs that have access to an internet connection and can stream video content. This can include smart TVs or standard TVs with a connected device (Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, etc.)

Global Frequency Capping

Ad serving feature that ensures a user is only exposed to a certain number of ads within an allotted time period.

Home Screen Ads

Static ads that sit on the home screen. They’re typically a short video or image and can feature a call to action like ‘learn more’. 

In-stream Video Ads

15- to 30-second long ads that play before or during the program. They are a clever and cost- effective way to reuse your existing television ads for connected TV.

Incremental Reach

Unique audiences exposed to your ads, beyond those you are reaching via other screens or mediums.

Interactive Pre-Roll Ads

The same as in-stream video ads, except they allow the viewer to click through to a landing page. For example, if you’re advertising a movie, this type of ad could bring the viewer to a page where they could book a ticket. 


An acronym for Multiple Video Programming Distributor. These companies are content providers that deliver broadcast and cable programming to audiences through traditional means, such as cable boxes and satellite subscriptions. Examples include Comcast, Dish and Cox.

Over-the-Top (OTT)

Streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV and Disney+ that can be streamed on any internet-connected device without a cable or satellite subscription. 

Private Marketplaces (PMPs)

Customizable, invitation-only marketplaces where premium publishers make their inventory available to buyers. 

Programmatic TV

Technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads on linear TV.


Streaming refers to the delivery of audio and video content to a device (phone, tablet, computer, TV) through an internet connection. Streaming content can be delivered wirelessly as well as through a wired connection.


Utilize advanced techniques to prevent targeting someone who already bought a product or service.


Subscription video-on-demand.


An acronym for Virtual Multiple Video Programming Distributor. These companies are content providers that deliver aggregated live and on-demand video content through an internet connection. Examples include Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and fuboTV.

Contact us if you would like a PDF of the Glossary.

Nielsen offers you Digital Ad Ratings and the Streaming Video Ratings Report if you're looking for Cross-Platform Measurement insights.

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