by Ray Keating
January 26, 2023
When it comes to streaming, we all hear that content is king. And Disney+, with the impressive studios and franchises that Disney owns, was supposed to challenge the top dog. But the Nielsen streaming rankings for 2022 show that Disney has plenty of work to do.
In general, Netflix remained the king of streaming in 2022, with Disney ranking tops in streaming movies.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, in the overall streaming category (i.e., original series, acquired series, and movies), Netflix held 11 of the top 15 spots, with Disney holding two, and one series (Criminal Minds) crossing over three streaming services (Netflix/Hulu/Paramount+).
How do these ratings/rankings work? As the Reporter explained: “Nielsen’s streaming ratings cover viewing on TV sets only and don’t include minutes watched on computers or mobile devices. The ratings only measure U.S. audiences, not those in other countries.”
Looking at original series, which is often viewed as the streaming Holy Grail, Netflix held 13 of the top 15 spots, with Amazon Prime Video earning the other two spots. None of the Disney+ big shows – for example, Moon Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk – cracked the top 15 for 2022.
As for acquired series, Disney+ had two in the top 15 – the children’s cartoon show Bluey and The Simpsons. Ten went to Netflix, one for HBO Max, one for Amazon Prime Video, and then Criminal Minds across three streaming services.
But Disney+ was the clear leader in terms of streaming movies, holding 10 of the top 15 spots, with Netflix holding the other five. The following list offers the top streamed movies (again, based on minutes viewed) and it points to Disney benefiting from material leaning toward younger children, or families with younger children.
1. Encanto (Disney+), 27.4 billion
2. Turning Red (Disney+), 11.4 billion
3. Sing 2 (Netflix), 11.3 billion
4. Moana (Disney+), 8.6 billion
5. The Adam Project (Netflix), 6.1 billion
6. Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+), 5.7 billion
7. Don’t Look Up (Netflix), 5.1 billion
7 (tie) Frozen (Disney+), 5.1 billion
9. Luca (Disney+), 5 billion
9 (tie) The Gray Man (Netflix), 5 billion
11. Zootopia (Disney+), 4.4 billion
12. Coco (Disney+), 4.3 billion
13. Eternals (Disney+), 4.24 billion
14. Frozen II (Disney+), 4.2 billion
15. Uncharted (Netflix), 4.18 billion
That’s not surprising, of course. After all, this is Disney. But Disney has made clear that in order for its streaming service to be a success, it needs to offer more than that. At least in 2022, its big franchises – Marvel and Star Wars – didn’t make that happen.
It should be noted that Season 1 of The Mandalorian – the Star Wars show on Disney+ - ranked fifth on Nielsen’s 2019 measure for original streaming series, and it ranked fifth again in 2020. Also, Marvel’s WandaVision ranked 14th in 2021. But that’s been it for Disney+ in terms of original streaming series.
The good news for Disney+? The Mandalorian Season 3 arrives in March of this year.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com; and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries, and the Alliance of Saint Michael novels; and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?
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