Netflix wins 2022 Nielsen Streaming Ratings with Stranger Things

Americans are streaming more now than ever, watching 19.4 million years worth of content last year, up 27 percent from 2021.

The 2022 Nielsen Streaming Unwrapped report crowned Netflix the leading streaming platform, despite the company’s ups and downs — and subscriber exodus — over the past year.

According to the official Nielsen report, streaming services have gained momentum everywhere to become the preferred platform for content consumption. Yet it’s Netflix’s original programming that has particularly taken off. Since the platform launched original programming in 2012 with “Lilyhammer” (and a year later with the blockbuster “House of Cards”), Netflix has been at the forefront of the original content wars in the competitive streaming wars.

Nielsen’s assessment noted that “many original titles accounted for twice as much watch time in 2022 as top-performing acquired content” and that “top-performing original content dramatically outperformed top-performing acquired content.” Of course, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” Season 4 topped the streaming ratings and broke records on the platform. Audiences watched 52 billion minutes of “Stranger Things” in 2022, the highest total for a single series since the 2020 COVID-driven reruns of “The Office.” Shockingly, 2020’s “The Office” actually topped 2022’s “Stranger Things.” 57.1 billion streamed minutes were aired at the heart of the shutdown at the time — the power of Michael Scott and crew. But the episode-by-episode breakdown of “Stranger Things” is more impressive, considering that show is only 34 episodes long (admittedly each one is more than an hour long) and “The Office” has 192 episodes of about 20 minutes each.

“The Office” was also an original series on NBC, while “Stranger Things” can be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

Netflix itself dominated the Top 10 streaming list, with 13 of the 15 titles exclusive to the platform, according to Nielsen. After Stranger Things, series like “Ozark,” “Wednesday,” “Cobra Kai,” “Bridgerton,” “Virgin River” and “Dahmer” topped the charts, with reality show “Love Is Blind” . and “The Great British Baking Show” not far behind. Prime Video’s “The Boys” and “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” were the only non-Netflix shows on the list.

In terms of overall top streaming programs, “NCIS” came in second behind “Stranger Things,” albeit by a huge margin, with nearly half the minutes streamed at 38 billion minutes across 356 episodes. “NCIS” is also available on Netflix.

Streamers’ deep libraries have also been noticed by viewers, with popular series such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Seinfeld,” “Criminal Minds,” “Bluey” and “The Simpsons” among the most streamed series. Only four titles on the top list were original, with Stranger Things leading overall.

And Americans are now streaming more than ever, with 19.4 million years of content watched, up 27 percent from 15 million years in 2021. This streaming number is bolstered by movies viewed across platforms, such as Disney+’s “Encanto,” which takes the top spot. 27.4 million minutes were watched.

By comparison, “Encanto” premiered on the Disney streamer in late December 2021 and had a full 12 months to garner those ratings; Netflix’s “Wednesday” price dropped in late November 2022 and immediately topped the charts in just 36 days.

“Turning Red” and “Moana” were more Disney+ movies to make the top 15 streaming movies list, with five Netflix movies: “Sing 2,” “The Adam Project,” “Don’t Look Up,” “The Gray’ Man’ and ‘Uncharted’.

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