Drama, reality and kids’ programming lead US content wars in 2021 | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Nielsen has provided more detailed analyses into its study of the streaming arena in 2021, revealing that across a myriad of platforms, mystery, drama, reality and children’s programming were largely in the driver’s seat in 2021’s tops of streaming lists.
NIelsen 24 Jan2022
On 14 January, the measurement firm released a study showing that in December 2021 Americans watched a total all-time high of 183 billion minutes of content across over-the-top platforms. Aggregate viewing during the month surpassed outgunned by some distance the 160 billion minutes watched during March 2020 when stay-at-home restrictions began in the US as well as the 178 billion minutes watched during the week of Thanksgiving just a month earlier.

It is latest report, Nielsen found that amid the competition for audiences, its data showed that original content had more appeal among older audiences while acquired content has higher appeal among younger viewers. Consumers were most drawn to a few programming stand-outs, some of which simultaneously introduced audiences to content not focused on the US such as the Great British Baking Show, Squid Game and Luca.

The analyst said that across platforms, mystery, drama, reality and children’s programming were largely in the driver’s seat in 2021’s tops of streaming lists. In the original category, Lucifer benefited from having 93 episodes available to consumers, which commanded more than 18 billion viewing minutes throughout the year, closely followed by The Great British Baking Show.

It also emphasised that the prominence of long-running procedural Criminal Minds on the acquired list for SVOD leader Netflix showed the resonance of good content, regardless of which platform it’s developed for.

And it stressed that given nearly three-quarters of US households have access to Netflix, the availability of this acquired content on the platform has the potential to reach an entirely new audience base, many of whom are streamers aged 18-34. Seinfeld’s move to Netflix was cited as another example another example of a program that’s attracting new audiences, with 41% aged 34 and younger—too young to have even been alive or watched it when the show first aired on broadcast TV. Today, 80% of the viewers of the 90’s classic are under the age of 50.

Even with only nine episodes available, Korean Netflix series Squid Game racked up 13 million-plus viewing minutes among US audiences. The audience for this program skewed younger than the Netflix average, as 37% of viewers were 18-34. Lucifer and The Great British Baking Show appealed to a very similar streaming audience, with the two programmes’ viewership skewing mostly female and evenly split across the 18-34, 35-49, and 50-64 age demographics.

Going forward, Nielsen said the unfolding story of streaming remained the most high-stakes and compelling across the media ecosystem, with an increasing amount of choice for consumers. And that as it saw in 2021, content libraries, bolstered by high-profile originals and popular children’s movies, will be critical to gaining viewers’ attention and the dynamics of price (free vs. ad supported) may have an increasing role as more competition enters the fray. It predicted that similar to what happened to expanding cable packages, consumer decisions will be made as to which services are retained and which are discontinued or replaced.