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‘The Witcher’ Ascends in Streaming Rankings; December Platform Shares Steady

Nielsen also says streaming consumption hit an all-time high in the United States the week of Christmas.

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The second season premiere of The Witcher catapulted the show to the top of the streaming rankings for Dec. 13-19 — and it likely played a sizable role in helping streaming platforms set a usage record the following week.

Those are two key takeaways from the latest sets of Nielsen streaming numbers. In the weekly program rankings, The Witcher (whose second season debuted Dec. 17) had 2.19 billion minutes of viewing time, more than twice as much as the No. 2 title overall (kids’ show Cocomelon at 890 million minutes) and almost four time as much as the second-ranked original series, Hawkeye (580 million) on Disney+.

Nielsen also released its monthly Gauge report on audience share by platform for December, and it largely resembles previous months. Per usual, cable outlets accounted for the largest share of viewers’ time with 37.3 percent of total TV use, with streaming at 27.7 percent and broadcast networks at 26.1 percent. The latter was down slightly, while other TV use rose 1.6 points to 8.9 percent, driven largely by an increase in gaming.

Streaming usage peaked the week of Christmas, per Nielsen, as TV users watched 183 billion minutes of content on streamers — the highest weekly figure Nielsen has measured thus far. That was about a third of all TV use during the month and was likely driven by both big titles like The Witcher and Emily in Paris and the relative dearth of original programming on linear TV during that week.

Despite the big Christmas week for streamers, however, cable, streaming and broadcast usage remained fairly steady for December as a whole. That’s been the case for all eight months Nielsen has been issuing its Gauge reports, with no single platform moving by more than than a couple of percentage points month to month.

From May to December, cable averaged just over 38 percent of all TV use, with streaming at 27.7 percent and broadcast at 25.4. Other TV use, including gaming, video on demand and physical media playback, accounts for the remainder.

The December TV use breakdown is below.

Platforms

Cable: 37.3 percent
Streaming: 27.7 percent
Broadcast: 26.1 percent
Other: 8.9 percent

Streaming Services

Netflix: 6.4 percent
YouTube (including YouTube TV): 5.8 percent
Hulu (including Hulu + Live): 3 percent
Prime Video: 2.1 percent
Disney+: 1.6 percent
All others: 8.8 percent

Program rankings for titles on Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Prime Video for Dec. 13-19 are below.

Original Series

1. The Witcher (Netflix), 2.19 billion minutes viewed
2. Hawkeye (Disney+), 580 million
3. Lost in Space (Netflix), 569 million
4. The Wheel of Time (Prime Video), 467 million
5. The Great British Baking Show (Netflix), 292 million
6. Selling Tampa (Netflix), 243 million
7. Money Heist (Netflix), 231 million
8. The Queen of Flow (Netflix), 218 million
9. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (Netflix), 215 million
10. Twentysomethings: Austin (Netflix), 185 million

Acquired Series

1. Cocomelon (Netflix), 890 million minutes
2. Criminal Minds (Netflix), 631 million
3. Seinfeld (Netflix), 511 million
4. NCIS (Netflix), 494 million
5. Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 420 million
6. Supernatural (Netflix), 353 million
7. Shameless (Netflix), 316 million
8. Bluey (Disney+), 286 million
9. Bones (Netflix), 274 million
10. Ink Master (Netflix), 243 million

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