Even the cultural phenomenon that is “Squid Game” can’t quite top the appeal of older licensed TV series – at least in the United States.
Ratings juggernaut Nielsen has revealed the most-streamed movies and TV series domestically for 2021 with “Lucifer,” “Luca” and “Criminal Minds” being the big winners.
“Lucifer” was the most-streamed original series of 2021 in the United States. With 93 total episodes, the series netted more than 18.3 billion minutes of streaming during the year.
That’s ahead of the 16.4 billion minutes of the nine-episode “Squid Game” watched by Americans. Of that viewership, 85% chose to watch that series with the clunky English dub as opposed to the 15% who viewed it in the original Korean with subtitles.
“The Great British Baking Show,” “Virgin River” and “Bridgerton” were the next most-watched original series.
Thanks in part to having twelve seasons worth of episodes available, “Criminal Minds” registered an estimated 33.9 billion minutes watched via Netflix alone last year by American viewers – making it the most-streamed acquired series of 2021.
The show just beat out kid sensation “CocoMelon” with 33.3 billion minutes watched followed by “Grey’s Anatomy” (32.6bm), “NCIS” (29.5bm) and “Heartland” (20.4bm).
On the movie front, “Luca” was the most streamed film of 2021 with 10.6 billion minutes followed by “Moana” with 8.9bm, “Raya and the Last Dragon” with 8.3bm, “Frozen 2” with 5.7bm and “Red Notice” with 5.5bm.
Netflix and Disney+ dominated all the charts as Nielsen doesn’t measure HBO Max, Paramount+ or Peacock and also excludes mobile devices and PCs – meaning a lot of streams aren’t tracked.
The only original series in the Top 15 not from Netflix were Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” and the Disney+ series “WandaVision”. In total, U.S. consumers last year streamed nearly 15 million years’ worth of content per Nielsen.