2021 has been quite a year, to say the least, as the pandemic continued to keep us at home. As such, we had a bit more time on our hands and luckily the various streaming services had plenty of content to keep us busy throughout the year. Of course, there’s always hope that your favorite show of the year might make it to the top of the list. While streaming services still won’t quite tell us how shows and films are performing, Nielsen still conducts its studies to give us an inclination on how the year went.
In 2021, the most-streamed original show was not the extremely popular Squid Game, but actually Lucifer. It switched to Netflix some time ago and now has become their most streamed offering. The Great British Baking Show takes the third spot followed by Virgin River, Bridgerton, You, Cobra Kai, The Crown, and Longmire. It’s not until the tenth spot that a non-Netflix offering joins the ranks with Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Disney+ and Apple TV+ only got one entry each with WandaVision and Ted Lasso.
There’s a very different story when it comes to movies, as eleven of the most viewed cinematic offerings were from Disney+. The list is dominated by Luca, Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon. Netflix’s Red Notice takes the fifth spot and they also nabbed the ninth with Mitchells Vs. The Machines. Marvel Studios also joined the list with Black Widow on the eleventh spot and rounds out the Top 15 with Avengers: Endgame. The performance of Disney+ is a good hint at the fact that family- and child-friendly offerings were the big winners.
Overall, it’s a strong list of shows. There’s always a chance that if we’d ever get a chance to see the true numbers their positions might shift. Nielsen also only uses third-party information that excludes mobile numbers, which could work in specific offerings favor. They only rank TV screens and HBO Max and Peacock are not currently included in the list, whose offerings with Friends and Yellowstone are likely candidates to be in the list. Still, it’s at least a small inclination what 2021 was like and we’ll see what 2022 has in store for us.