We hear a lot about the “streaming wars,” whether it’s a new service dropping, a shift to ad-supported content, or a recent subscription price hike. But according to Nielsen, one streamer is pulling far ahead. At least in terms of most-watched content, anyways.

That streaming winner? Nielsen data says it’s Netflix by a mile.

Nielsen recently released data showing the most-watched original streaming shows and the most-watched streaming programs overall. For original programs, Netflix shows hold 13 of the Top 15 spots. In fact, the Top 10 most-watched original shows are all on Netflix. 

Unsurprisingly, Stranger Things sits at the top of the list, with over 52 billion minutes watched. The other top 10 Netflix programs include Ozark, Wednesday, Cobra Kai, Bridgerton, Virgin River, Dahmer, Love is Blind, Inventing Anna, and The Crown. The only other streaming service to crack Nielsen’s Top 15 was Prime Video, with two entries: The Boys and The Rings of Power.

2022 Top 15 Most-Watched Streaming Programs (Originals) chart by Nielsen

But Netflix didn’t just find success with its original shows. The Netflix library also includes hugely popular back catalogs of other shows. NCIS, Cocomelon, Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, Seinfeld, and Supernatural all brought in billions of viewing minutes for the platform. 

In the overall most-watched ranking, Prime Video drops out, replaced by Disney+. Disney+ landed three spots in the Top 15, for feature film Encanto, kids program Bluey, and the catalog of The Simpsons. Criminal Minds also made the list at #7, but it streams across multiple platforms (Hulu, Paramount+, and PlutoTV currently).

2022 Top 15 Most-Watched Streaming Programs (Overall) chart by Nielsen

So, what does this Nielsen data mean for the streaming climate? Well, for one thing, it’s a reminder to streaming platforms that legacy content is important. (WB probably isn’t happy to see its shows Gilmore Girls and Supernatural bringing in so many viewers on Netflix, while its own platform HBO Max seems to be struggling.) And don’t underestimate the potential for streaming content for young kids – both Cocomelon and Bluey cracked the Top 10 of most-streamed shows overall.

We also know keeping shows around for more than one season matters; only four out of 15 of the top-watched original shows made the list with their debut seasons. (Hear that streamers? Give them time to grow!) 

So, did your binge-watching help push Netflix to have the most-watched streaming content? Or do you spend most of your time on another platform? Let us know in the comments below.

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