Thanks to some Nielsen data posted in a new report over at Adweek, we have a good sense now as to what some of the most-popular shows were for Netflix in the calendar year 2018. (Note that this is only SVOD data for viewers in America; other countries were not factored in.)
Most-popular program, period – The Office, which led with an incredible 52 billion minutes(!) streamed. This was #1 by a really wide margin, and it speaks to the show’s edginess but also subtle sense of humor. It’s amazing how rewatchable this show is compared to most other comedies that are out there.
Most-popular show currently on the air elsewhere – Grey’s Anatomy, which was watched more than 30 billion minutes — obviously, still incredibly impressive. (We know that there are viewers catching up because they started it on Netflix.) NCIS was behind the medical drama with more than 21 million minutes, while Criminal Minds was behind the two of them with more than 19.6 billion minutes.
Most popular mature-rated show – Shameless, with more than 18.8 billion minutes. It’s actually watched more than any Netflix original, which isn’t bad for a Showtime series. (We almost wonder if the show’s watched more on Netflix at this point than it is Showtime.)
Most popular Netflix show – Orange is the New Black, with more than 18.7 billion minutes. The irony here, of course, is that this is going to be the final season coming up and then, we’re at the end of the road for some of these characters. Ozark was the only other original that they had on the list of their top ten programs, and one of the other shows in their top ten, Fuller House, is also ending later this year.
If there are a couple of other things that surprise us about this list, it’s the presence of That 70’s Show within the top twenty (given that it is somewhat overlooked as a hit sitcom these days by some) and then also 13 Reasons Why, which is arguably why the show has had the run that it has despite rampant criticism that the show’s depiction of suicide causes more harm than it does good. (Kudos to The CW, who has three different shows within the top 20 — Supernatural, The Flash, and also an older one in The Vampire Diaries.)
What makes all of this data so interesting is that if some rival companies decide to start up streaming services (and there are plans to do so), a lot of these programs could be plucked from Netflix’s airwaves. We’re not sure anyone will pay for another service to watch old episodes of Parks and Recreation, but because they’re already on Netflix, the accessibility is there.
What do you think about some of this data? Does anything surprise you? Be sure to share right now in the comments, and stay tuned for more. (Photo: ABC.)