After the big streaming services burned through every can of content in the cupboards, and tapped every foreign acquisition they could find, it appears that the long-anticipated video programming drought is finally here.
For the second consecutive week, according to Nielsen, no television program or film broke the one billion viewing minutes mark among the four major U.S. subscription streaming services: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney Plus.
March Madness may be to blame for the low VOD numbers. But something was certainly amiss during the third full week of March. Re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy took the top spot on Nielsen’s master SVOD ranker and its acquired ranking chart during the week of March 15-21.
The off-network run of the ABC medical drama on Netflix, where 16 seasons and 367 episodes of the series are available, tallied 673 million U.S. viewing minutes during the week of March 15. That’s up by 45 million viewing minutes week to week.
The Netflix streaming of another off-network show, CBS procedural Criminal Minds, came in second place among all SVOD shows. The 12 seasons and 307 episodes of the procedural drama licensed by Netflix garnered 647 million minutes of viewing.
Both Grey's Anatomy and Criminal Minds consistently rank atop Nielsen’s list of acquired SVOD shows. And they often appear in the back half off Nielsen’s overall top 10 rankings. But for the week of March 15, no big original SVOD show or movie broke out big.
Notably, another Netflix acquired series that routinely makes both ranking lists is Cocomelon. The computer-animated children’s program features baby J.J. and his siblings singing lullabies and telling stories. During the week of March 15, six episodes of Cocomelon’s collected 506 million minutes of viewing.
That’s up 48 million views week over week. Cocomelon took the sixth spot on the overall ranker and was No. 4 on the acquired chart during the week of March 15-21.
The animated show originated on YouTube, where it remains one the most popular channels with close to 100 million subscribers. According to The Verge, in a one-month period, Cocomelon videos amass over 3.3 billion views. In May 2020, Roku made a Cocomelon channel for its platform. Then in June 2020, Netflix licensed three episodes of the preschool franchise. According to Nielsen, Netflix’s three episodes of Cocomelon drew 336 million minutes viewing, placing the show in the No.10 spot on the master ranker during the last week of August. According to Variety, the show spent 104 days on Netflix’s top 10 ranking chart, more than any other program excluding The Office.
In December 2020, Netflix, which is spending billions to grow the streaming service’s library of children’s programming, added three more episodes of Cocomelon.
Meanwhile on Nielsen’s movie chart, Netflix’s Yes Day stole the top spot from Amazon’s Coming 2 America. The Jennifer Garner film drew 593 million minutes of viewing over nine days of availability. Yes Day placed No. 3 on Nielsen's master ranker for the week of March 15-21.
Coming 2 America, which was No. 1 for two consecutive weeks on the more drilled down ranking of the top SVOD movies, fell to the fifth spot on Nielsen's movie chart during the week of March 15. The film captured 273 million minutes of viewing minutes—down by 497 million week over week.
Meanwhile, on the original series front, Netflix’s 10 episodes of Ginny & Georgia, which premiered Feb. 24, came in No. 1 on Nielsen’s ranking of SVOD original shows and No. 5 on the overall list, collecting 540 million minutes of U.S. viewing. That is down by 232 million viewing minutes week over week.
In the No. 2 spot on the originals ranker was Disney Plus’ first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In only three days on the streaming service, the Marvel miniseries drew an impressive 495 million views per minute. The series came in No. 7 in the overall rankings.
The only other Disney Plus show to make the acquired chart was WandaVision. Despite coming to a close on March 5, the nine installments of the Marvel miniseries garnered 252 million views per minute. The show came in sixth place on Nielsen's acquired chart. WandaVision initially cracked Nielsen’s original series rankings when it debuted on Jan. 15 and tallied just 434 million minutes of U.S. streaming.
Previous Weekly Rankings
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