‘Stranger Things’ Was Most-Streamed TV Show in 2022

The Upside Down took the No. 1 position on Nielsen’s 2022 streaming chart: Netflix’s blockbuster “Stranger Things,” led by the release of the fourth season, was the most-streamed TV show overall in the U.S. last year.

The sci-fi hit series registered a whopping 52 billion minutes streamed in 2022, the highest total since COVID-driven lockdowns drove audiences to watch 57.1 billion minutes of NBC’s “The Office” in 2020. The dominance of original content like “Stranger Things” was underscored by the fact that there are only 34 episodes of the Duffer brothers’ series, compared with 192 episodes of “The Office.” 

In 2021 on Netflix, “Criminal Minds,” the CBS crime drama that ran from 2005-20, was the most-viewed show in the U.S., per Nielsen.

In total, Americans streamed more than 19.4 million years of content last year, up 27% about 15 million years in 2021.

Note that Nielsen uses audio-based content recognition methodology to track a subset of TV households — which excludes mobile devices and PCs. Based on that data, Nielsen extrapolates estimated total U.S. streaming viewing for platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon’s Prime Video, HBO Max and Apple TV+.

On the movie front, “Encanto” was the No. 1 most-streamed title of the year. The movie, featuring original songs composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, premiered on Disney+ in December 2021, and over the course of 2022 racked up 27.4 billion minutes of viewing (equivalent to being watched 269 million times).

“Encanto” had more than double the watch time of the next most-viewed movies, Pixar’s “Turning Red” (also on Disney+) and Universal/Illumination’s “Sing 2” on Netflix.

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