Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ top streamed show in 2022 – Nielsen

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” came out on top of both original and acquired content as the most streamed TV show in 2022, amassing 52 billion minutes viewed for a total of 34 episodes, per Nielsen’s year-end rankings.

Perhaps the showing for “Stranger Things” is unsurprising, given the success of the series’ final season. Not only did “Stranger Things 4” break the premiere weekend record for an English show on Netflix, but it was also the streamer’s second series to cross the billion-hour viewing mark, after “Squid Game.”

The 52 billion minutes mark also topped the 57.1 billion minutes viewed for “The Office” back in 2020, said Nielsen.

Among Nielsen’s overall streaming ranking (includes both original and acquired programs), long-running procedural drama “NCIS” was the second most-watched show in 2022, obtaining 38.1 billion minutes viewed across 356 episodes. Netflix’s “Ozark” came in second in the original-only list (31.3 billion minutes) but fourth place in the overall ranking.

To compile the rankings, Nielsen measured U.S. streaming viewership from December 27, 2021, to December 25, 2022. All told, the firm noted U.S. viewers streamed more than 19.4 million years of content last year, a 27% increase from the 15 million years Nielsen recorded in 2021.

Another notable Netflix title on the originals ranking was “Wednesday,” taking third place at 18.6 billion minutes streamed. The TV show debuted on November 23 with eight episodes, but it’s already chasing “Squid Game” to be one of the most watched shows in the world, as Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos pointed out in December.

top originals 2022

Despite Netflix crowding the rankings, a few titles from other streamers also made the cut. Within originals, Amazon Prime Video’s “The Boys” came in 11th place (10.6 billion minutes). Whereas “The Rings of Power,” Prime Video’s “Lord of the Rings” prequel series, caught the tail end of the ranking at number 15 (9.4 billion minutes).

While “The Rings of Power” only had eight episodes for its first season, each episode cost carried a price tag of around $60 million, according to VPN Overview. The show’s premiere drew 25 million viewers globally, and Amazon as of December said more than 100 million people total have watched the first season.

Disney’s “Encanto” snagged the title of most streamed movie in 2022 with 27.4 billion minutes viewed. The film debuted in theaters on November 24, 2021, but didn’t land on Disney+ until December 24 of that year. “Encanto” came in fifth in Nielsen’s original and acquired streaming ranking.

Disney claimed the bulk of the year’s most-watched movies, which included “Turning Red” (11.4 billion minutes), “Moana” (8.6 billion minutes) and “Hocus Pocus 2” (5.7 billion minutes).