‘The Office’ Was by Far the Most-Streamed TV Show in 2020, Nielsen Says

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‘The Office’ Was by Far the Most-Streamed TV Show in 2020, Nielsen Says

Amid the accelerating of the streaming wars in 2020, one thing was clear: “The Office” stood head and shoulders above every other TV show available on major streaming platforms.

Last year, Americans cumulatively streamed more than 57 billion minutes of “The Office,” the comedy favorite that originally aired on NBC, on Netflix, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. But Netflix won’t benefit from the Dunder Mifflin gang catalog this year: As of Jan. 1, all seasons of “The Office” moved exclusively to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

Meanwhile, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds” — also both available on Netflix — came in as the No. 2 and 3 most-streamed TV shows.

Among original series, Netflix grabbed nine of the 10 spots, with “Ozark” taking first place. That was followed by “Lucifer,” “The Crown” and “Tiger King,” with Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” coming in at No. 5. It’s worth noting that licensed TV shows generally have more episodes: For example, U.S. viewers watched 30.5 billion minutes of “Ozark” during 2020, which was across a total of 28 episodes. The more than 57 billion minutes of “The Office” spanned 192 episodes.

On the movie front, Disney Plus’ release of “Frozen II” topped the most-streamed list, followed by “Moana” on Disney Plus and “Secret Life of Pets 2” on Netflix.

A caveat: The Nielsen estimates are estimated based on viewing on connected TVs, excluding mobile devices and computers, tracked for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. The streaming companies don’t typically release viewing numbers. When Netflix touts viewing, for example, it uses a proprietary metric that .

Also Tuesday, Nielsen announced the launch of Theatrical Video On-Demand (TVOD), a measurement service tracking movie releases that are directly available to consumers to rent or purchase on-demand through streaming and pay-TV platforms.

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Acquired Series)

Rank Program Name SVOD Provider(s) # of Episodes Minutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1 THE OFFICE Netflix 192 57,127
2 GREY’S ANATOMY Netflix 366 39,405
3 CRIMINAL MINDS Netflix 277 35,414
4 NCIS Netflix 353 28,134
5 SCHITT’S CREEK Netflix 70 23,785
6 SUPERNATURAL Netflix 318 20,336
7 SHAMELESS Netflix 122 18,218
8 NEW GIRL Netflix 146 14,545
9 THE BLACKLIST Netflix 152 14,480
10 VAMPIRE DIARIES Netflix 171 14,091

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Original Series)

Rank Program Name SVOD Provider(s) # of Episodes Minutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1 OZARK Netflix 30 30,462
2 LUCIFER Netflix 75 18,975
3 THE CROWN Netflix 40 16,275
4 TIGER KING Netflix 8 15,611
5 THE MANDALORIAN Disney+ 16 14,519
6 THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY Netflix 20 13,470
7 GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW Netflix 65 13,279
8 BOSS BABY: BACK IN BUSINESS Netflix 49 12,625
9 LONGMIRE Netflix 63 11,382
10 YOU Netflix 20 10,965

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Movies)

Rank Program Name SVOD Provider(s) Minutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1 FROZEN II Disney+ 14,924
2 MOANA Disney+ 10,507
3 SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 Netflix 9,123
4 ONWARD Disney+ 8,367
5 DR SEUSS’ THE GRINCH Netflix 6,180
6 HAMILTON Disney+ 6,132
7 SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL Netflix 5,374
8 ALADDIN (2019) Disney+ 5,172
9 TOY STORY 4 Disney+ 4,416
10 ZOOTOPIA Disney+ 4,400

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Hulu), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television. U.S. Persons 2+, Total Minutes Viewed During 2020 (December 30, 2019 through December 27, 2020)

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