‘Outer Banks’ Stays a Streaming Hit as Netflix Continues to Dominate Weekly Nielsen Ratings

Netflix’s dominance in the streaming television market is holding strong: 10 of the streaming service’s titles populated the latest Nielsen report on the most-viewed streaming television shows of the week.

Nielsen’s latest report on the 10 most-viewed streaming shows, which was based on viewership from August 9 through August 15, was entirely populated by Netflix titles. “Outer Banks,” the teen drama that premiered its sophomore season on the streamer on July 30, was the most-viewed show on Nielsen’s list, with 1,160 million views. The show was a massive hit during its premiere window and was viewed for an impressive 2.1 billion minutes in Nielsen’s previous report. “Hit & Run,” which premiered on Netflix on August 6, came in second, with 549 million minutes viewed. “Grace and Frankie,” which stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, premiered its seventh season on Netflix on August 13. The comedy series was the third most-viewed show on Nielsen’s latest report, with 465 million minutes viewed.

Nielsen’s data is only based on United States audiences using TV sets and only covers Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+. The company releases its streaming data reports on a roughly one-month delay due to an arrangement with the aforementioned streaming services. The entertainment industry’s major streamers do not regularly release their own verifiable viewership data.

Nielsen’s latest report is the second since news broke that the company had lost its third-party accreditation. On September 1, the Media Rating Council suspended Nielsen’s accreditation, after months of tense back-and-forths between TV networks and the longstanding viewership tracker. The dispute centers on TV networks’ allegations that Nielsen altered its protocols during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in under-counting (which hurts the networks’ ability to earn fair rates for their advertising offerings). The MRC — which holds measurement organizations to standards on behalf of the media sector, working with advertisers, agencies, and media companies of all types — found further evidence of miscounting in February 2021, and Nielsen soon asked for a hiatus to upgrade its methodology.

There’s no telling when Netflix’s reign on Nielsen’s streaming reports will come to an end, but it’s possible that it will take more than an animated superhero show to break Netflix’s hot streak; Disney+’s “What If…?,” the first animated Marvel Cinematic Universe show that premiered on August 11, failed to crack Nielsen’s list. Prior MCU entries such as “Loki,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “WandaVision” quickly carved a place for themselves in Nielsen’s streaming reports following their premieres.

1. Outer Banks (Netflix) – 1,160 million minutes

2. Hit & Run (Netflix) – 549 million minutes

3. Grace and Frankie (Netflix) – 465 million minutes

4. Virgin River (Netflix) – 419 million minutes

5. Car Masters: Rust to Riches (Netflix) – 290 million minutes

6. Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami (Netflix) – 265 million minutes

7. The Snitch Cartel: Origins (Netflix) – 243 million minutes

8. Gabby’s Dollhouse (Netflix) – 238 million minutes

9. Lucifer (Netflix) – 198 million minutes

10. Glow Up (Netflix) – 197 million minutes

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