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

‘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)

RankProgram NameSVOD Provider(s)# of EpisodesMinutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1THE OFFICENetflix19257,127
2GREY’S ANATOMYNetflix36639,405
3CRIMINAL MINDSNetflix27735,414
4NCISNetflix35328,134
5SCHITT’S CREEKNetflix7023,785
6SUPERNATURALNetflix31820,336
7SHAMELESSNetflix12218,218
8NEW GIRLNetflix14614,545
9THE BLACKLISTNetflix15214,480
10VAMPIRE DIARIESNetflix17114,091

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Original Series)

RankProgram NameSVOD Provider(s)# of EpisodesMinutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1OZARKNetflix3030,462
2LUCIFERNetflix7518,975
3THE CROWNNetflix4016,275
4TIGER KINGNetflix815,611
5THE MANDALORIANDisney+1614,519
6THE UMBRELLA ACADEMYNetflix2013,470
7GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOWNetflix6513,279
8BOSS BABY: BACK IN BUSINESSNetflix4912,625
9LONGMIRENetflix6311,382
10YOUNetflix2010,965

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Movies)

RankProgram NameSVOD Provider(s)Minutes Streamed (Nearest Million)
1FROZEN IIDisney+14,924
2MOANADisney+10,507
3SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2Netflix9,123
4ONWARDDisney+8,367
5DR SEUSS’ THE GRINCHNetflix6,180
6HAMILTONDisney+6,132
7SPENSER CONFIDENTIALNetflix5,374
8ALADDIN (2019)Disney+5,172
9TOY STORY 4Disney+4,416
10ZOOTOPIADisney+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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Written by Oli Coleman