Most streamed show of 2020: ‘The Office’
But Tiger King was the most-watched show on a per-episode basis.
Streaming services boomed in 2020 due to a range of effects brought about by COVID-19, leading Americans to spend approximately 57 billion minutes watching ‘The Office’, according to an end-of-year streaming summary from Nielsen.
It’s little wonder that Peacock was so eager to launch its own platform and remove ‘The Office’ from Netflix’s US streaming library. But with 192 episodes, ‘The Office’ was the show with the fifth most episodes and the eighth longest time investment to get through the entire series. So, which show was the biggest hitter of 2020?
After fiddling with the top 10 original and acquired series lists created by Nielsen, the surprise (not in hindsight) smash hit of 2020 was the Netflix original series ‘Tiger King’. The ‘Tiger King’ clocks in at a little over five hours in total, with each episode having an average runtime of about 44 minutes, which means that each episode was streamed around 44.3 million times. Viewers invested almost 2 billion minutes watching each episode or 15.6 billion getting through the entire series.
Coming in second place was the Disney+ success ‘The Mandalorian’. While placing fifth in Nielsen’s top 10 original series list with about 14.5 billion minutes streamed in 2020, with only 16 episodes and a runtime of 40 minutes per episode (a total runtime for the series of around 10.5 hours), ‘The Mandalorian’ came in second place for most streams per episode with roughly 22.7 million. It was Finder’s third-most popular show for minutes streamed per episode, coming in a just shy of 1 billion.
‘Ozark’ actually topped Nielsen’s top 10 original series list with a total of nearly 30.5 billion minutes streamed. However, with a run time of about 30 hours to get through the entire series and each episode coming in at around the hour mark, ‘Ozark’ ranked third on Finder’s list for most views per episode, with just shy of 17 million streams and second for minutes spent watching per episode (a little over 1 billion minutes).
What about ‘The Office’, you ask? While it may have been at the top of the list for the number of minutes spent watching the entire series, it only ranked fifth for how many times each episode was approximately viewed (13.5 million) and sixth in the amount of time spent watching each episode (297.5 million minutes). You can see the combined list of shows from Nielsen’s top 10 original and acquired series lists below: