In a yr that continued to current audiences with an unprecedented number of streaming platforms and content material, U.S. customers took full benefit of their choices. Within the final week of December 2021, audiences streamed 183 billion minutes, which even eclipsed the period of time they spent streaming on the weekly top of COVID-driven lockdowns in early 2020 (166 billion minutes).
Fueled by important will increase in connectivity and interesting content material throughout an ever-widening array of platforms, streaming companies capitalized all year long on customers’ rising urge for food for over-the-top video content material. In whole, People streamed virtually 15 million years’ price of content material in 2021. Regardless of the myriad choices throughout the streaming panorama, customers had been most drawn to some stand-outs, a few of which concurrently launched audiences to content material not centered on the U.S., resembling the Nice British Baking Present, Squid Recreation and Luca.
Throughout platforms, thriller, drama, actuality and youngsters’s programming had been largely within the driver’s seat in 2021’s tops of streaming lists. Within the authentic class, Lucifer advantages from having 93 episodes accessible to customers, which commanded greater than 18 billion viewing minutes all year long, carefully adopted by The Nice British Baking Present. Notably, the prominence of Prison Minds on the acquired listing highlights the resonance of excellent content material, no matter which platform it’s developed for—and however the notable headlines that in style streaming applications entice. And once we think about that 73% of U.S. households have entry to Netflix (per Nielsen panel information), the supply of this acquired content material on the platform has the potential to achieve a wholly new viewers base—a lot of which is streamers aged 18-34.
Seinfeld’s transfer to Netflix is one other instance of a program that’s attracting new audiences, with 41% aged 34 and youthful—too younger to have even been alive or watched it when the present first aired on broadcast TV. Right now, 80% of the viewers of the 90’s traditional “present about nothing” are underneath the age of fifty.
2021 was additionally the yr of breakthrough for worldwide streaming content material. With solely 9 episodes accessible, Korean sequence Squid Recreation on Netflix racked up an unimaginable 13 million-plus viewing minutes amongst U.S. audiences. The viewers for this program skewed youthful than the Netflix common, as 37% of viewers had been 18-34. Lucifer and The Nice British Baking Present appealed to a really related streaming viewers, with the 2 applications’ viewership skewing largely feminine and evenly break up throughout the 18-34, 35-49, and 50-64 age demographics. Amid the competitors for audiences, our 2021 streaming unwrapped information reveals that authentic content material has extra enchantment amongst older audiences whereas acquired content material has increased enchantment amongst youthful viewers.
Given the pressure the pandemic positioned on the standard movie show business, streaming platforms supplied audiences the chance to benefit from the newest theatrical productions from the consolation of their very own houses. This was a boon for teenagers, as 4 of the most-streamed films had been animated youngsters’s movies. Along with doing properly with children, the films on this yr’s listing additionally launched audiences to a degree of variety that speaks to the rising want for on-screen inclusion and variety. In actual fact, 5 of the most-streamed films on this yr’s listing featured numerous lead characters. From a platform perspective, the film class is the place Disney+ shined, because it distributes 11 of the highest 15 films on the listing.
The unfolding story of streaming stays probably the most high-stakes and compelling throughout the media ecosystem, with an rising quantity of selection for customers. However as we now have seen this yr, content material libraries, bolstered by high-profile originals and in style youngsters’s films, are vital to gaining viewers’ consideration. Penetration is the opposite driving power, because it permits firms to advertise extra content material to customers to maintain them engaged. The dynamics of worth (free vs. advert supported) might have an rising position as extra competitors enters the fray. Much like what occurred to increasing cable packages, client selections might be made as to which companies are retained and that are discontinued or changed.
Brian Fuhrer, Nielsen’s SVP of Product Technique and Thought Management, takes a glance again on the high streaming applications of 2021.