Unsurprisingly, Netflix continues to dominate Nielsen’s weekly top 10 most-watched SVOD programs in minutes watched. The sheer volume of the market-leading streamer’s content library, both original and licensed programming, as well as the high demand for their attractive titles keeps them in pole position among the increasingly competitive streaming wars. Yet Netflix’s rivals are undoubtedly gaining steam.
The Mandalorian became the first Disney+ television series to crack Nielsen’s top 10 list in their most recent report for the week of 10/26-11/1.
It’s important to note that Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, which debuted October 23, recently delivered seven new episodes. Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated second season of The Mandalorian premiered with just one new episode on October 30 in addition to eight Season 1 episodes that were now a year old. The former tripled in viewership compared to its premiere week and—with more new episodes available to watch and an extended time span—we expect a similar Week 2 jump for The Mandalorian.
Even with a compressed time frame and just one new episode, the blockbuster Disney+ Star Wars show managed to notch the biggest non-Netflix debut in minutes watched (1.032 billion) in 11 weeks of Nielsen’s SVOD data provided to Observer (Amazon’s The Boys earned 1.060 billion minutes watched in its second week of availability with four new Season 2 episodes). That is a significant win, even if Mandalorian is just the second Disney+ original overall to crack the top-10 after Mulan.
Netflix still routinely dominates Nielsen’s top-10, widely considered the most trustworthy third-party streaming viewership metric. But in the 11 weeks of Nielsen data available to Observer (8/17-11/1), there’s been at least one non-Netflix entry in the top-10 in seven weeks. While there has never been a week with more than two non-Netflix entries, recent debuts of splashy and well-received new programming could potentially crowd the rankings. Despite comparatively small subscriber bases, Peacock’s surprisingly good Saved by the Bell revival and HBO Max’s dramedy The Flight Attendant could make some noise.
On a more macro scale, The Mandalorian‘s popularity is a microcosm for Disney’s growing direct-to-consumer popularity. In seven years of producing original content, Netflix has accrued an estimated 66 million U.S. subscribers. With Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ under its belt, the Walt Disney Company now boasts an estimated 64 million domestic subscribers. It’s clear that while Netflix still maintains a stranglehold on the most popular SVOD viewing options, other platforms are beginning to peck at the top-10 and beyond.