‘The Office’ Was by Far the Most-Streamed TV Show in 2020, Nielsen Says

Amid the accelerating of the streaming wars in 2020, one thing was clear: “The Office” stood head and shoulders above every other TV show available on major streaming platforms.

Last year, Americans cumulatively streamed more than 57 billion minutes of “The Office,” the comedy favorite that originally aired on NBC, on Netflix, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. But Netflix won’t benefit from the Dunder Mifflin gang catalog this year: As of Jan. 1, all seasons of “The Office” moved exclusively to NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service.

Meanwhile, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds” — also both available on Netflix — came in as the No. 2 and 3 most-streamed TV shows.

Among original series, Netflix grabbed nine of the 10 spots, with “Ozark” taking first place. That was followed by “Lucifer,” “The Crown” and “Tiger King,” with Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” coming in at No. 5. It’s worth noting that licensed TV shows generally have more episodes: For example, U.S. viewers watched 30.5 billion minutes of “Ozark” during 2020, which was across a total of 28 episodes. The more than 57 billion minutes of “The Office” spanned 192 episodes.

On the movie front, Disney Plus’ release of “Frozen II” topped the most-streamed list, followed by “Moana” on Disney Plus and “Secret Life of Pets 2” on Netflix.

A caveat: The Nielsen estimates are estimated based on viewing on connected TVs, excluding mobile devices and computers, tracked for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. The streaming companies don’t typically release viewing numbers. When Netflix touts viewing, for example, it uses a proprietary metric that .

Also Tuesday, Nielsen announced the launch of Theatrical Video On-Demand (TVOD), a measurement service tracking movie releases that are directly available to consumers to rent or purchase on-demand through streaming and pay-TV platforms.

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Acquired Series)

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Original Series)

Top Streaming Content of 2020 (Movies)

Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and Hulu), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television. U.S. Persons 2+, Total Minutes Viewed During 2020 (December 30, 2019 through December 27, 2020)

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