Netflix and Disney streaming figures reveal the most-watched shows and movies in 2020

Netflix and Disney’s most-watched shows and movies of the past year have been revealed during a Nielsen panel at CES 2021.

During a talk on “Streaming TV Trends” at the annual trade show, Nielsen unveiled a series of stats for the most popular shows, movies, and original content from major streamers.

In the original content bracket, Ozark topped the list with a whopping 30.5 billion minutes streamed. That’s billion. With a B. Following that in a distant second place is fellow Netflix series Lucifer – with 19 billion minutes streamed in 2020. Rounding out the top five is The Crown (16.3 billion), Tiger King (15.6 billion), and Disney’s jewel in the crown, The Mandalorian (14.5 billion).

Disney, however, is more successful when it comes to movies. Frozen 2 was watched for 14.9 billion minutes last year, with Moana trailing with 10.5 billion minutes. The Secret Life of Pets 2 takes a surprising third place with 9.1 billion minutes on Netflix. Onward (8.4 billion minutes), and The Grinch on Netflix (6.2 billion minutes) complete the top five.

No prizes for guessing the most-streamed show, original or otherwise, in 2020. The Office – now on Peacock in the US – was streamed for a whopping 57.1 billion minutes. Then, the comfort binges roll in: Grey’s Anatomy (39.4 billion), Criminal Minds (35.4 billion), NCIS (28.1 billion), and Schitt’s Creek (23.8 billion) are among the most-watched series of 2020 – all from Netflix. Below, find a full list of the 15 most-watched shows on streaming.

  • 1. The Office (57.1 billion)
  • 2. Grey’s Anatomy (39.4 billion)
  • 3. Criminal Minds (35.4 billion)
  • 4. Ozark (30.5 billion) 
  • 5. NCIS (28.1 billion)
  • 6. Schitt’s Creek (23.8 billion)
  • 7. Supernatural (20.3 billion)
  • 8. Lucifer (19 billion)
  • 9. Shameless (18.2 billion)
  • 10. The Crown (16.3 billion)
  • 11. Tiger King (15.6 billion)
  • 12. New Girl (14.5 billion)
  • 13. The Mandalorian (14.5 billion)
  • 14. The Blacklist (14.5 billion)
  • 15. Vampire Diaries (14.1 billion)

With Netflix only rarely revealing its own viewing figures – by its own obtuse metric – these offer great barometers for what continues to be popular, and what’s starting to gain traction. 2021 is likely to see a new number one with The Office departing for pastures new – see you again in 12 months?

In the meantime, fill out your watchlist with the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies.

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