Netflix is no doubt the mega-juggernaut of the streaming wars but other streamers are starting to creep in on its success with two major platforms infiltrating the streaming top ten which has allowed Netflix to end its near-permanent stronghold on the streaming list.
The two streamers that are responsible for ending the streak are Amazon and Disney+. Amazon achieves the feat with its incredibly popular series, The Boys, which has seen staggering views since the debut of its second season. Disney+ steps into the top ten with MULAN, a release strategy that was met with criticism because of the $29.99 price to access the film but has resulted in a reported huge windfall for Disney. Both entries made the top 10 for the week of August 31-September 6 (both debuted September 4). They’re the first two shows or films from a streaming platform other than Netflix to make the top 10 since Nielsen started releasing weekly rankings a month ago.
The second season launch of The Boys marked the most-watched global launch of an Amazon Original series ever. The Boys’ first season already had set a high viewership mark for Amazon when it debuted in summer 2019. In its first two weeks, Season 2 has nearly doubled the Season 1 worldwide audience (+89%), drawing millions of new viewers each week. For this top ten ranking list, The Boys placed third with 891 million viewing minutes counted. The Boys, in addition to being the first Amazon show to make the weekly list, is also the first streaming original series not to be released all at once to break into the top 10. Amazon debuted the first three episodes of season two on September 4, with subsequent episodes rolling out weekly.
Disney hasn’t officially revealed any revenue figures from MULAN, but per Nielsen, viewers spent some 525 million minutes watching the film on its opening weekend and “Yahoo” was the first to report that nearly 9 million Disney+ subscribers paid to gain access to MULAN in its first nine days which resulted in a reported gross of $261 million.
I should also mention Cobra Kai, which ranks first in Nielsen’s rankings for August 31-September 6 with 2.17 billion minutes viewed. The first two seasons of the former YouTube series made their Netflix debut on August 28. This was to be expected since the series trended as Netflix’s highest trending show when it debuted, outpacing the usual winner, Lucifer. This is a big win for Sony, which has two of the top three shows on streaming (per Nielsen’s measurement) for the period, and the top-performing show on two different platforms, the other being Amazon’s The Boys. Sony Pictures TV president Jeff Frost had this to say about the success of both series:
We are thrilled that Cobra Kai and The Boys have resonated so broadly with viewers on Netflix and Amazon, landing at No. 1 on both platforms this week. We’ve long demonstrated our independence is a key strength, allowing us the unique opportunity to work with everyone and to find the right home for our creators’ shows. Today it’s more evident than ever with this unprecedented accomplishment. This amazing audience reception is also a true testament to the brilliant work of our talented creators and team at Sony.”
It’s good to see the other streamers making some strides because I’d personally like to see these rankings not just dominated by Netflix. The Boys popularity is pretty palpable so I could see its numbers growing and, even though I found MULAN lacking, its success on Disney+ makes a strong case for larger tentpole releases to be sent straight to streaming because they can still achieve a high level of strong business.
Are YOU surprised to see The Boys and MULAN break into the streaming top ten? You can check out the full top ten streaming results below!
1 (2). Cobra Kai (Netflix), 2.17 billion minutes viewed
2 (1). Lucifer (Netflix), 1.42 billion
3 (nr). The Boys (Amazon), 891 million
4 (3). The Office (Netflix), 843 million
5 (7). Criminal Minds (Netflix), 675 million
6 (8). Shameless (Netflix), 639 million
7 (nr). Away (Netflix), 631 million
8 (7). Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 616 million
9 (4). The Legend of Korra (Netflix), 541 million
10 (nr). Mulan (Disney+), 525 million