Stranger Things and Encanto claimed the top spots for the most streamed television series and movie, respectively, in the US in 2022, according to new figures released by Nielsen.
As reported by Variety, the premiere of the Netflix sci-fi smash hit’s fourth season ultimately contributed to 52 billion minutes viewed in 2022 for the entire series. On top of leading every television streaming metric, Stranger Things was also the most-watched program overall last year, followed by the long-running CBS drama NCIS in a distant second place with 38.1 billion minutes streamed, the children’s show Cocomelon at 37.8 billion minutes, and Ozark at 31.3 billion minutes. Notably, the top four highest-streaming performers were all Netflix offerings.
The animated musical Encanto, which debuted on Disney+ in late 2021, netted the highest streaming time for any film with 27.4 billion minutes. It was the fifth most-streamed program in 2022 and the only movie to crack the Top 15 across all movies and television series. Disney+ also released the second-highest streamed feature with Pixar’s Turning Red at 11.4 billion minutes as well as the No. 4 film, 2016’s Moana, while Netflix claimed the remaining two film spots with Sing 2 and The Adam Project.
Netflix proved to be 2022’s streaming leader with 11 offerings appearing in the Top 15 most-watched programs overall. The platform’s dominance was even more pronounced in the original programming category, where 13 television series including newcomer Wednesday and returning hits like Bridgerton and Cobra Kai occupied all but two spots in the Top 15. Meanwhile, the Oscar-nominated dramedy Don’t Look Up and the Ryan Gosling crime thriller The Gray Man were among the five Netflix releases that ranked in last year’s most-watched films.
As for the competition, Amazon’s Prime Video placed in the television rankings with the dark superhero satire The Boys and the Lord of the Rings prequel series, The Rings of Power, while HBO Max made the cut with reruns of Friends.
The Nielsen report also concludes that streaming in the US topped more than 19.4 million years watched in 2022, which is up 27% from 15 million years in 2021. The new data aligns with shifting viewing habits and trends that led to streaming officially passing cable as TV’s main consumption method last year.