Did you know Netflix’s Bridgerton is a popular show? If not, you may have been living on another planet for the last few months. Nielsen released its latest streaming ratings this week, for the week of January 25 to January 31, and guess who’s on top?
Indeed, Bridgerton is once again the single most popular streaming program, though it finally dipped below one billion minutes streamed. Fate: The Winx Saga, a live-action adaptation of the Nickelodeon Winx Club series, comes in second. The math here can be deceptive; people streamed 936 million minutes of Bridgerton, and 918 million minutes of Fate: The Winx Saga. The thing to remember is that Bridgerton has been out for two full months, having released on December 25, 2020. Netflix’s dump-and-binge method of show releases often means that shows come and go quickly, but Bridgerton is staying strong. Bridgerton viewers between January 4 and January 10 streamed 1.6 billion minutes of the show. For comparison, Cobra Kai, which is still ranked third, dropped from 2.1 billion minutes for the week of January 4 to 568 million for the week of January 25. That’s still nothing to sneeze at, but it demonstrates how well Bridgerton is doing.
Netflix makes up all of the top ten streams but for one. Marvel Studios’ WandaVision on Disney+ ranked in at #5. But again, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. WandaVision only had four episodes out at the time (we didn’t even know yet who it had been All Along!), and Disney is releasing the show week by week rather than all at once. Disney+ is growing quickly, but also has far fewer subscribers when compared to Netflix. That all goes to suggest that a huge portion of Disney Plus’s 94 million subscribers are tuning in week to week to get the numbers up as high as they are with so few episodes and a traditional weekly release schedule.
The rest of the shows on the list are from Netflix. Blown Away, The Crown, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, Longmire, and the Great British Baking Show round out the list.
Nielsen’s SVP of Product Strategy Brian Fuhrer points out in the company’s latest update that Netflix’s Bridgerton and The Crown make for an interesting comparison. Both are shows about British upper-crust and are steady members of Netflix’s recent top 10 lists. But for Bridgerton, Fuhrer states, the audience is three times more likely to be aged 18-34, and twice as likely to be African American viewers. Further, nearly a third of The Crown’s viewers watch Bridgerton, but only 8% of Bridgerton viewers watch The Crown.
On the list of acquired shows, things are mostly familar, with Criminal Minds and Grey’s Anatomy topping the list, but the Spanish-language show Marioposa de Barrio continues to perform well, standing out from the list of weekly streaming stalwarts. Other shows include New Girl, Supernatural, and children’s programming like Cocomelon.
Finally, in movies, Netflix once again owns the majority of the top list with The Next Three Days, The Dig, and Homefront, but Disney+ fares better thanks to the continued popularity of Moana and Frozen 2, and Pixar’s latest feature, Soul.
With Netflix planning to release 52+ movies throughout 2021 and Disney’s Marvel Studios ramping up its television production as it prepares to restart movie distribution, this list will be worth keeping an eye on as the year progresses. And once HBO Max starts its simultaneous release schedule, in which HBO Max subscribers will get access to Warner Bros.’ new theatrical films, such as Godzilla vs. Kong, day and date, we might even see that service appear in the top 10 again.