Nielsen: Disney’s ‘Soul’ Tops Weekly Streaming Chart

The debut of Disney/Pixar’s Soul on Christmas made the animated movie No. 1 on Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 streaming chart Dec. 21 – 27, 2020. The movie generated 1.67 billion minutes streamed on televisions, topping Netflix’s final week exclusively streaming “The Office,” with 1.43 billion minutes across 192 episodes. Netflix’s original series, “Bridergton,” tracked 1.2 billion minutes across eight episodes.

Disney made additional news by placing two programs on the chart, the first SVOD to do so in the Netflix-dominated era. The week also saw four movies in the Top 10 for the first time.

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Persons 2+ Total Minutes Viewed – Week of 12/21/20 – 12/27/20
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Nielsen to Begin Tracking PVOD Movies

In a sign of the pandemic times, Nielsen announced it would begin tracking theatrical movies released separately or concurrent with box office distribution.

After Universal Pictures reported generating $100 million streaming animated sequel Trolls World Tour on PVOD instead of theaters early in the pandemic, the evolution of theatrical distribution has changed significantly. Nielsen contends the entire media food chain, from studios to talent, have a need to analyze the volume and reach of their audiences by detailed household and person’s characteristics, such as age and gender, ethnicity or even territory.

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Nielsen’s TVOD measurement service will help clients uncover how many people are streaming this type of valuable content in relation to other content options. Additionally, it will deliver detailed demographic and behavioral information beyond what the standard box office metrics, transactional rental or purchase information often provides, allowing for crucial audience-driven decisions in regard to licensing and promotion.

The pandemic has driven a rise in streaming consumption. In fact, streaming now accounts for nearly a quarter (23%) of total usage among OTT video capable homes, up from 21% just a year prior, and a much broader swath of consumers have enabled streaming capabilities, presenting a new opportunity to deliver this form of entertainment directly.

“As this unprecedented pandemic continues to influence consumer behavior, perhaps even through a prolonged state of recovery waves, being able to measure and help clients appropriately monetize new revenue streams has never been more crucial,” Scott Brown, GM  of audience measurement for Nielsen, said in a statement.

Brown said Nielsen would monitor audience behavior following any virus recovery; how the adopted stay-at-home orders might influence habits when consumers have the ability to go back to theaters.

“[Nielsen will track] how content creators will leverage data to make the best decisions regarding distribution platforms in the future,” Brown said.

Nielsen at CES: Kids Titles Rule Movies, ‘The Office’ Tops TV Shows in 2020 Minutes Watched

Eight of the top 10 movies were kids’ titles, and “The Office” was by far the top TV show in minutes watched in 2020, according to Nielsen data presented during the virtual CES.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s “Ozark” topped streaming originals in minutes viewed. In fact, Netflix originals took nine of the top 10 on the minutes-watched originals chart, with Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” coming in at No. 5.

Americans streamed the equivalent of more than 100,000 years of “The Office,” said Brian Fuhrer, SVP, product strategy and thought leadership, Nielsen — with one episode, season four’s “Dundar Mifflin Infinity,” the most streamed episode at almost 31 years.

While Netflix got the benefit of devoted “Office” fans in 2020, Peacock this year acquired the rights to the NBC show.

“We don’t think ‘The Office’ is used up,” said Fuhrer, who noted fans watch the show almost as a comfort.

Kids’ films dominate minutes of movies streamed for a simple reason.

“The kids’ movies have the tremendous advantage of repeat viewings,” he said, as children will watch a film over and over.

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The top movie in terms of minutes watched was Frozen II, followed by, in order, Moana, Pets 2, Onward and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. Among non-kids’ titles, only Disney+’s streamed Broadway show Hamilton and Netflix’s Spenser Confidential cracked the top 10.

Among originals, following “Ozark,”  the top most watched programs in terms of minutes were three other Netflix shows, in order, “Lucifer,” “The Crown” and the infamous “Tiger King.” Coming in at No. 5 was Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”

Fuhrer said the idea of stretching out episodes of a series to create “water cooler TV,” as Disney+ did with “The Mandalorian,” is a growing trend.

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“I think we’re going to see more and more of that,” he said, adding “Amazon did it with ‘The Boys’ to great success.”

While everyone streamed more during the pandemic, one of the biggest changes is how it attracted older viewers, who adopted it and kept on streaming.

“As the older demographic started to stream, there was a lot of sampling,” especially of AVOD services as they were free, he noted.

As theaters closed, first-run movies hit streaming, a trend that is here to say, he said.

“One of the things I find most fascinating was the opportunity to deliver first run movies to consumers,” he said.

While cinemas aren’t going to go away, first-run streaming will become a “bigger and bigger piece of the television pie over time,” he said.

Another trend is an explosion in streaming outlets.

“Fragmentation is hitting streaming just like it hit traditional TV,” he noted.

For these services, “distribution is critical,” he said.

“If it’s not available on the device you have, it’s invisible,” he noted.

Value is another battleground in the streaming marketplace, with consumers evaluating the price versus the quality of content.

Nielsen: ‘The Office’ Atop Weekly SVOD Chart

One of Netflix’s streaming hits is re-runs of former NBC sitcom “The Office.” The series finished atop Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 SVOD chart through Dec. 13, 2020, tracking 1.27 billion minutes streamed across 192 episodes. The longtime podium finisher gained attention in December as the series moved to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service on Jan. 1.

Nielsen’s chart tracks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Hulu streaming data on household televisions.

Disney’s “The Mandalorian” moved up to the No. 2 spot with 1 billion minutes — the highest ranking on Nielsen’s chart tracking viewership of two minutes or more per program. The previous week’s chart topper, “Virgin River,” dropped to No. 3 with 948 million minutes across 20 episodes.

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Persons 2+ Total Minutes Viewed – Week of 12/7/20 – 12/13/20
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Gracenote Launches Statistics and Related Content Feature for Live Sports

Nielsen’s Gracenote is launching a new live sports solution designed to help smart-TV and auto manufacturers display game statistics and other related content in real-time.

Leveraging Gracenote Global Sports Data, CE manufacturers and automakers can integrate real-time team statistics, recent game results and live updates into TV and video home screens and auto infotainment systems.

By accessing Gracenote Sports Data through plug and play widgets, a smart-TV maker can present previews of upcoming games featuring a viewer’s favorite teams followed by dynamic updates during game play. Notifications can be created to offer ways to navigate directly to the game broadcast or stream on a consumer’s preferred service at home. Or a connected car manufacturer can deliver game scores and league standings to infotainment screens in real-time.

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“Live sports are an increasingly important differentiator for entertainment platforms seeking to increase user engagement,” Simon Adams, Gracenote chief product officer, said in a statement. “For years, Gracenote has powered sports viewing experiences for the largest TV providers in the world. With Gracenote Global Sports Widgets, CE companies and automakers can easily launch new sports experiences which maximize audience engagement and drive consumption while minimizing development costs and engineering resources.”

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At launch, the Gracenote Sports Widgets will cover major North American sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL; international football leagues such as the English Premier League; Germany’s Bundesliga; Ligue 1 in France; Serie A in Italy; Spain’s La Liga; Brasileirão Assaí in Brazil; Mexico’s Liga BBVA MX; as well as Korean baseball league KBO. Languages offered include English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Additional coverage of global sports leagues will be made available throughout the year.

Gracenote is the content services arm of Nielsen Media.

Nielsen: Netflix’s ‘Virgin River’ Tops ‘The Crown’ On Weekly Chart

The new Netflix romantic series “Virgin River” bumped “The Crown” from atop Nielsen’s weekly (through Dec. 6, 2020) Top 10 chart of most-streamed content on the living room television.

The 20-episode arc about a nurse practitioner from LA searching for a fresh start, who moves to a remote northern California town and is surprised by what — and who — she finds, generated 1.79 billion minutes of consumption, topping “The Crown” with 1.45 billion minutes across 40 episodes. The series stars Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson and Tim Matheson, among others.

Podium mainstay “The Office” topped 1.31 billion minutes across 192 episodes as the former NBC comedy series entered its final month on Netflix before moving to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service on Jan. 1, 2021.

Other new arrivals to the chart included Netflix original series “Selena: The Series” in the No. 5 spot with 823 million minutes across 9 episodes; and long running The CW’s “Supernatural,” which now streams on Netflix in No. 6 spot with 694 million minutes across 327 episodes.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Nielsen: NFL, ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘This Is Us’ Top TV Programming in 2020

Traditional linear TV may be hemorrhaging viewers and subscribers to over-the-top video, but in 2020 — especially during a pandemic — consumers continued to spend the lion’s share of their TV time with live and time-shifted programming, according to new data from Nielsen. The ratings pioneer said second-quarter 2020 live and time-shifted TV consumption among people 18 and older increased by an average of 4 minutes per day (to 4 hours, 8 minutes) from the prior year. That dwarfs the 1 hour and 14 minutes spent on TV-connected devices each day.

In the second quarter, consumers 18 and older spent just shy of 6 hours each day with video, an increase of 35 minutes from the prior-year period without the pandemic. The programming they were watching the most on the living room TV included NFL football (i.e. the Super Bowl and “Sunday Night Football”), NBC’s “This Is Us,” and Paramount Television’s “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner.

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Top TV Programs of 2020 – Single Telecast


Top TV Programs of 2020 – Regularly Scheduled




Persons 2+ Rating

Avg. No. of Viewers (millions)

1 “Sunday Night Football” NBC 5.3 16.28
2 “NCIS” CBS 5 15.4
3 “FBI” CBS 4.2 12.8
4 “NFL Thursday Night Football” FOX 4.2 12.8
5 “Blue Bloods” CBS 4 12.1
6 “Chicago Fire” NBC 3.9 11.9
7 “Chicago PD” NBC 3.7 11.5
8 “Young Sheldon” CBS 3.7 11.4
9 “Chicago Med” NBC 3.7 11.3
10 “This Is Us” NBC 3.7 11.2


Top Time-Shifted Programs of 2020 – Ranked By Percent Change in  Viewers




% Increase in Viewers from Time-shifted Viewing

1 “Yellowstone” Paramount 214.8%
2 “Emergence” ABC 191.7%
3 “Stumptown” ABC 170.7%
4 “Manifest” NBC 157.6%
5 “The Resident” Fox 152.6%
6 “New Amsterdam” NBC 152.3%
7 “The Walking Dead” AMC 148.4%
8 “Will & Grace” NBC 144.0%
9 “Million Little Things” ABC 143.9%
10 “Good Girls” NBC 142.7%


Top Time-Shifted Programs of 2020




Absolute Difference in Viewership (millions)

1 “This Is Us” NBC 6.5
2 “NCIS” CBS 6.2
3 “The Good Doctor”  ABC 6.1
4 “911” Fox 5.8
5 “New Amsterdam” NBC 5.7
6 “Blue Bloods” CBS 5.7
7 “Chicago PD” NBC 5.5
8 “Bull” CBS 5.4
9 “Chicago Fire” NBC 5.3
10 “FBI” CBS 5.2


Nielsen: Streaming Video Minutes Diversify as Netflix’s ‘Crown’ Again Dominates Weekly Chart

Consumers loved streaming subscription video over the Thanksgiving weekend. Nielsen said the top six streamed programs on television generated more than 8.43 billion combined minutes — up nearly 7% from the previous-week period. The tally included six programs topping 1 billion minutes, double the prior-period week.

Netflix original series “The Crown” again led all programs with 2.21 billion minutes streamed over 40 episodes — down 34% from the previous week. The SVOD pioneer again dominated with 90% of the top programs, with “The Mandalorian” on Disney+ as the lone outsider, in the No. 4 spot. Nielsen’s chart includes Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ Remains Atop Nielsen Weekly SVOD Chart

Netflix’s award-winning original series “The Crown” finished at No. 1 on Nielsen’s weekly chart of the most-viewed SVOD programs on TV in the United States for the period of Nov. 16 to 22. The fourth season of the series showcasing Queen Elizabeth II, portrayed by Olivia Colman, generated 3.35 billion minutes viewed across the show’s 40 episodes.

The previous Nielsen record for minutes streamed in a week belonged to Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” with 3 billion.

“The Crown” knocked from the top spot Netflix’s chess-themed original, “The Queen’s Gambit,” which had 1.09 billion minutes across seven episodes. Former NBC sitcom “The Office” remained on the podium at No. 3 with 1.06 billion minutes streamed across 192 episodes. The series leaves Netflix at the end of the year for WarnerMedia’s HBO Max.

Notably, the Disney+”Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” dropped to No. 4 despite increasing streamed minutes to 939 million across 12 episodes, from 873 million minutes across 11 episodes the week before.

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Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Remains Atop Nielsen Weekly SVOD Chart

The original series “The Queen’s Gambit” is paying off for Netflix as the series starring Anya Taylor-Joy remained on top of Nielsen’s weekly Top 10 subscription streamed video shows on television through Nov. 15. The seven-episode series generated 1.37 billion minutes streamed, down about 5% from 1.45 billion minutes during the previous week.

Other podium spots included Disney+ original series “The Mandalorian” at No. 3 with 873 million minutes across 11 episodes — down almost 9% from 955 million minutes during the previous-week period. Former NBC sitcom “The Office” finished No. 2 with 1.08 billion minutes across 192 episodes. That was down just slightly from 1.09 billion minutes in the previous week. The series leaves Netflix Jan. 1, 2021 for its new exclusive home on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

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Netflix again dominated the chart, grabbing nine of the 10 spots largely on the backs of network television shows such as “Greys Anatomy,” NCIS” and “The Blacklist,” among others.

“The story this week is about royalty,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP of product strategy at Nielsen, said in a webcast alluding to the chess series and “The Crown.” Fuhrer said 23 million unique viewers have streamed “Gambit” since its launch on Oct. 23. “It’s continuing to resonate,” he said.

Fuhrer said the story of that week included expanding the audience for “The Crown,” which saw 66% of viewers above the age of 55.

“Most of ‘The Crown’ audience has been younger, but with [with the older demo] that’s a really effective tool at crossing over and bringing in audiences that don’t traditionally watch SVOD, as well as a ‘gateway drug’ for Netflix.”

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.