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Who Is Streaming Your Show?

October 20, 2023 - by Mitch Metcalf

streaming shows on a laptop, ipad and phone

If you or your client has a show currently streaming, good luck relying on your streamer to accurately and transparently share their well-guarded viewing data. If you are looking for a reliable third-party count of streaming behavior, consider Nielsen’s SVOD measurement service.

In just the past week, Nielsen tracked almost 25K different titles (series, specials and movies) and measured 1.6 BILLION hours of streaming in the U.S. alone. In only one week.

The top 1,000 titles account for almost 1.2 billion hours streamed (73% of the total). Another real world example of the 80-20 Rule.

Viewership of top shows are in the tens of millions of hours per week, while hundreds of shows exceed a million hours of viewing. Very significant numbers for a wide variety of programs. This is how the most recent week’s distribution breaks out.

  • #1 title: 19 million hours of viewing

  • #10 title: 10 million hours

  • #100 title: 2.4 million hours

  • #250 title: 1.1 million hours

  • #500 title: 600K hours

  • #1000 title: 300K hours

Where does all this streaming content come from?

  • 26.5% Original to streaming (original series, specials and movies)

  • 73.5% Licensed content (51.7% licensed television and 21.8% licensed theatrical)

The streaming ecosystem is largely built on the creative output of series and movies made for legacy forms of distribution such as broadcast, cable and theatrical. Whether your show was made by a streamer or a studio, you need to know how widely it is seen.

The Nielsen data illuminates not only what is being watched on a title by title basis but also who is watching in terms of demographics, regions, socioeconomic class and so on. Is the system perfect? Of course not. Are the Nielsen SVOD estimates as accurate as the precise counts on the streamers’ secure servers. Again, no way. But the Nielsen data is based on a gold-standard representative sample and the latest technology.

How many hours of streaming do your shows rack up? Do you know who your viewers are? Reach out to MEI if you are interested in licensing information for your show.

Keep coming back to this space for coverage of these exciting times in our business. If you find this post of interest, we encourage you to share the post on other social channels. If you want to be notified when there is a new post, please subscribe to join our mailing list.

Interested in deeper insights? If you or your company is interested in purchasing access to MEI’s exclusive analysis of Nielsen TV ratings and streaming data, please reach out by clicking below.


1 Comment

Nov 06, 2023

Great post! It's an eye-opener for anyone in the streaming business. The data on originals versus licensed content is particularly intriguing. Reflects a lot on the evolving content strategies. I appreciate the nuanced take on the precision of Nielsen's SVOD estimates versus the streamers' counts. There's no perfect system, but a representative sample is a solid approach. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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