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Nielsen Releases First Top 10 SVOD Show Ranking (Yup, It’s all Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy
Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" (Image credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

Call it a landmark moment for the business of video streaming that turned out to be rather anticlimactic. 

For the first time, audience research company Nielsen included an SVOD ranker in its top 10 audience performance rankings, alongside traditional TV and video game audience performances lists. But the ranker for subscription video-on-demand streaming doesn’t present the kind of apples-to-apples comparison many of us got used to in the halcyon days of Nielsen overnights. 

For the week starting Aug. 3 and ending Aug. 9, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy was the most watched show in the increasingly vital U.S. SVOD business, according to Nielsen, with its 20 posted episodes garnering more than 3 billion minutes of total viewing. 

But the other nine shows on the list are all on Netflix, too. This probably shouldn't be unexpected, given that Netflix finished the second quarter with nearly 73 million U.S. subscribers. Rival SVOD service Hulu had just over 32 million subscribers at the end of Q2. Amazon Prime doesn’t disclose how many of its more than 150 million members are regular Amazon Prime Video users. But it’s probably safe to assume the number is far less than 73 million.

Competitive context is difficult to come by for a ranker that doesn’t account for the fact that the walled gardens of the respective SVOD services are vastly different in size. 

Also, measuring by total consumed minutes doesn’t take account the impact of having shows over-index based on mere content volume, such as Grey’s Anatomy, which has 361 streamable episodes on Netflix.

What is notable is that The Umbrella Academy is the only Netflix original to appear on the list. See below:

(Image credit: Nielsen)