Ah for the olden days of evaluating content. In 2019, if you wanted to know, “What was the most popular film?” You just looked at the box office and saw that the answer was (very clearly) Avengers: Endgame. Even TV was relatively simple: Game of Thrones set global records for its entire final season.
(Though you could argue Stranger Things was close. But hey that complicates my narrative!)
In 2020, no simple measures will suffice. Box office disappeared in a cloud of Covid. And reliable linear TV ratings continue to sink. Meanwhile, streaming uses a bewildering array of metrics so we don’t really know what means what.
Which left it for me to figure it all out. Now that 2020 is over, I collected as many data points as I could, put on my former streaming executive hat, and tried to figure out what was the most popular film and TV show in 2020.