Streaming claimed nearly 32% of viewers’ TV-watching time in May, typically a time of year when viewership is low. And viewership did trend downward, with total TV viewing falling off 2.7% during the month.
However, with such high-profile series as Netflix’s Stranger Things 4 and Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi debuting at the end of the month, as well as the NBA playoffs on broadcast and cable platforms, viewers tuned in. Disney Plus attracted 2.5% of total TV share on Friday, May 27 and Netflix claimed 9% of share on Saturday, May 28, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Stranger Things 4 went on to become Netflix’s most popular English-language TV series with a total of 781.04 million hours viewed in its second week of release, beating both seasons one and two of Bridgerton, which had 656 and 625 million hours viewed, respectively. Squid Game, with a second season on the way, remains by far Netflix’s most-watched series, with 1.65 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days of release.
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Although Stranger Things 4 offers viewers far more minutes to watch – with seven long episodes all becoming available on May 27 – a comparison of Stranger Things 4’s first episode and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s first episode reveals that Stranger Things 4 accrued 12.7 million viewers versus Obi-Wan Kenobi’s 11.2 million.
Meanwhile, broadcast and cable viewing declined in May, as viewing volume fell 3.5% for each. Procedural crime dramas such as CBS’ NCIS, FBI and Blue Bloods captured one-third of total broadcast viewing during the month. Cable news viewing fell 4.2% in May, but sports viewing was up 7%, accounting for 9% of total cable viewing. NBA playoff games accounted for May’s top-six most-viewed cable programs.
[Images of Stranger Things 4 courtesy of Netflix.]