Nielsen Streaming Ratings: Netflix’s ’Outer Banks’ Loses 37% of Its Audience, Still Finishes No. 1

Netflix series 'Outer Banks'
(Image credit: Netflix)

For the third consecutive week the Netflix original series Outer Banks was the most watched show on the major U.S. subscription streaming services, attracting 736 million viewing minutes during the week of Aug. 16 - 22, according to Nielsen.

That’s down 424 million week over week. But in spite of the drop, the North Carolina beach town-set coming-of-age drama, which premiered its second 10-episode season on July 30, maintained its top seating, it seems, because video streaming in mid-August was in a slump.

Nielsen Streaming Ratings August 16-22

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Notably, in the No. 2 spot was Cocomelon, the Netflix acquired kids series that perennially occupies the bottom half of Nielsen’s acquired series rankings. On this lullaby-sleepy mid-August frame, the computer-animated children’s program featuring Baby J.J. and his siblings singing and telling stories—qualified as a “hit.”

In fact, during the week of August 16, Cocomelon’s 12 episodes collected 732 million minutes of viewing. According to Nielsen, Cocomelon’s strength lies in primarily preschool age viewers, ages 2-5, “which is one reason for its continued strength this week despite the softening usage among 6-17 year old streamers.” 

In other words, families may have been at the beach, but parents were still relying on Netflix to look after their toddlers.

Nielsen Streaming Ratings - Acquired Series August 16-22

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Meanwhile, the first four Season 7 episodes of Netflix original series Grace and Frankie, which premiered on the streaming service on August 13, generated 716 million viewing minutes for the week, which was good enough for third place overall. 

Oscar winner Jane Fonda and Emmy winner Lily Tomlin star as Grace and Frankie, a comedy about two women whose lives are turned upside down after their husbands reveal they are gay. Season 7 of the comedy will feature 16-episodes. The next 12 episodes won’t be released until 2022 because COVID halted production. The Skydance TV series’ is Netflix’s longest running original series.

After just two days on Netflix, the third season of Manifest drew 705 million viewing minutes, putting the show in the No. 4 spot. 

In late August, following sensational streaming ratings for seven straight weeks on Netflix and a #SaveManifest movement kickstarted by the series’ creator, Jeff Rake, the streaming service ordered a fourth a final season of the NBC supernatural drama. As part of the negotiations with Warner Bros. to make season four, Netflix licensed streaming rights to the third season of the show, which debuted on August 21.

Manifest is the most streamed show in the U.S. so far this year. Season 4 will feature 20 episodes, the biggest total yet for the series,

Nielsen Streaming Ratings - Original Series August 16-22

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Taking the No. 6 spot was the Netflix film Sweet Girl. The  revenge thriller starring Marisa Tomei and Jason Momoa garnered 658 million viewing minutes. According to Nielsen, 42% of the viewing minutes came from African-American or Hispanic homes. The film, released on August 20, features Momoa as a devastated husband who vows to find the people responsible for the murder of his wife.

Dropping seven spots to No. 10 was Vivo, an animated musical starring and featuring new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda that debuted on Netflix on August 6. The movie drew 475 million viewing minutes, down 327 million week over week.

The film was initially scheduled to be released in theaters on June 4 by Sony Pictures Animation. But in April, the studio licensed Vivo to Netflix. Sony Pictures retained home entertainment and linear television rights as well as all rights in China. The Vivo deal was made outside the broader Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment licensing deal that was announced in April, which allows the streaming service an exclusive window for the studio’s theatrical titles beginning in 2022. 

Nielsen Streaming Ratings - Movies August 16-22

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Previous Weekly Rankings:

August 9-15: Netflix’s Scrappy ‘Outer Banks’ Maintains the No. 1 Spot

August 2-8: Netflix's ‘Outer Banks’ Surpasses 2.1 Billion Viewing Minutes

July 26 - August 1: Netflix's 'All American' Edges 'Outer Banks' for No. 1

July 19-25: Netflix’s ‘Virgin River’ Maintains the No. 1 Spot

July 12-18: Netflix’s ‘Virgin River’ Ends Five-Week ‘Manifest’ Winning Streak

July 5-11: #SaveManifest Movement Picks Up Steam as Netflix Series Becomes the Most Watched SVOD Show for 5th Straight Week


June 28-July 4: Amazon’s $200 Million Bet on Paramount’s ‘The Tomorrow War’ Pays Off

June 21-27: ‘Manifest’ Continues Series Saving Flight Plan on Netflix

June 14-20: Netflix’s ‘Manifest’ Scores the Year’s Biggest SVOD Audience So Far

June 7-13: Netflix’s ‘Sweet Tooth’ Shows Bite for the Week of June 7-13

May 31-June 6: Netflix’s ‘Lucifer’ Bedevils SVOD’s Biggest Audience Since Season 3 of 'Cobra Kai’ Debuted in January

May 24-30: Netflix’s ‘Lucifer’ Has SVOD’s Biggest Week* Since ‘Coming 2 America’ Debuted in Early-March

May  17-23: Zack Snyder’s ‘Army of the Dead’ on Netflix Leads a Rather Lifeless Week for the U.S. Streaming Biz

May 10-16: ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Not Good Enough For Netflix to Renew, But Strong Enough to Lead the Week of May 10-16

May 3-9: Netflix’s $100 Million Bet on Sony’s ‘The Mitchells vs. The Machines’ Pays Off


April 26 - May 2: Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’ Edges Hulu’s ‘Handmade’s Tale' in Rebound Week for the Streaming Biz


April 19-25: Netflix’s ‘NCIS’ Off-net Run Wins Another ‘Easttown and Down' Week for the U.S. SVOD Biz


April 12-18: Disney Plus’ ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Builds to 855 Million Streaming Minutes and a No. 1 Finish

April 5-11: Give Netflix's 'Thunder Force' Five for Winning the Week of April 5-11


March 29 - April 4: Netflix’s ‘The Irregulars’ Tops the Easter Week Charts

March 22-28: - 'Falcon and Winter Soldier' Tops SVOD Originals

March 15-21: - 'Grey's Anatomy' Re-Runs Top SVOD Ranker

March 8-14: - ‘The Crown’ Got Royal Gains from Meghan’s Big Oprah Interview

March 1-7: - Amazon Tops the Charts for the First Time with ‘Coming 2 America’

Feb 22-28: - Netflix’s 'Ginny & Georgia' Leads the SVOD Biz