Netflix Dominated the Top 15 Streaming Shows in the US for 2021
Netflix routinely makes a big deal about how popular some of their shows are, going so far as to debut their own viewership metrics site which updates weekly, but now a third party can attest to how big their programming is and proves how confident they should be. According to Nielsen's metrics for the most streamed TV shows in the United States for all of last year, Netflix had twelve of the top fifteen shows, while Apple TV+, Hulu, and Disney+ all had just one each. HBO Max, Peacock, nor Amazon Prime Video, had a series in the Top 15 list.
Nielsen's list reveals the most popular shows from Netflix range from reality shows like Great British Baking Show to romantic dramas like Virgin River and Bridgerton to action shows like Cobra Kai and even International hit Squid Game. As for the other three streamers on the list, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale and Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso made the list, while the only series from Disney+ to make a splash was WandaVision. The full list of the Top 15 Streamed TV Shows in the US for 2021 reads as follows:
- Lucifer* (Netflix)
- Squid Game (Netflix)
- Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
- Virgin River (Netflix)
- Bridgerton (Netflix)
- You* (Netflix)
- Cobra Kai* (Netflix)
- The Crown (Netflix)
- Longmire* (Netflix)
- The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
- Outer Banks (Netflix)
- Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
- Maid (2021 Series) (Netflix)
- Wandavision (Disney+)
- The Witcher (Netflix)
It's worth noting that Nielsen has two different lists for the most popular shows on streaming with one for original streaming content (seen above) and one for acquired streaming content (shows that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc, pick up the streaming rights to instead of producing in-house).
When taking into account the numbers for the top acquired streaming shows, Lucifer would only land at #8 on that list with shows like Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, and Supernatural all having even higher viewership than anything else on the Streaming originals list. Compared to the Top Streaming Originals list, the Top Streaming Acquisitions list paints an even more dire picture for Netflix's dominance with fourteen of the top 15 coming from the service. The only show appearing on the list from another streamer is Bones, which streamed on Amazon & Hulu.
In a surprising move however, the Top 15 streaming movies is a wild inverse of the show listing as Netflix only has three entries while Disney+ has 11 and Amazon Prime just one.