(Welcome to my weekly streaming ratings report, the single best guide to what is popular in streaming TV and what isn’t. I’m the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a former streaming executive who now analyzes business strategy in the entertainment industry. If you were forwarded this email, please subscribe to get these insights each week.)
Let me let you in on a little secret:
We have streaming ratings now.
Now, obviously, this is no secret to you. I know that you know this, but trust me: plenty of people don’t! Listening to podcasts, in conversations with friends, and reading the news, I hear people complaining that we don’t have ratings or don’t know the ratings for streaming TV shows all the time! Still!!! I wrote about this last year, but in short:
- Not only do we have streaming ratings, but in some ways, we have more data on TV shows (using a ton of different metrics) than we ever have before.
- Some people think that having so many different ratings sources is just more confusing, but I love it! Instead of being dependent on one source of ratings, we can compare and analyze different a whole bunch of different sources.
Knowledge is power, in almost all facets of business. (And life in general.)
In Hollywood, ratings data/knowledge is especially powerful. If you’re an agent, manager, producer, writer, opinion maker, executive, leader, investor, whatever…you need to know what works and what doesn’t. What people are watching and what they’re not.
The good news? As a subscriber, you have access to this knowledge that other people don’t have. Or you have more detailed, specific and nuanced information than people who just casually follow the news. They stumble in the dark; you know the truth. (Or as close as we can get to it.) And this gives you an edge. For how long? I don’t know. At some point, the rest of the town is going to catch up and wake up to this reality. For now, you’re in a special class of people who follow the weekly ratings. And you’re reading the only regular source that compares all of the ratings, not just occasional articles on Nielsen, Samba TV, Netflix Top Ten, and other data…
On to the ratings themselves, man, it’s a busy, big week, including some big, notable films (Netflix’s latest hit, The Mother, Prime Video’s first go at theaters in a while, Air, another direct-to-streaming Disney+ film, Crater, and a Michael J. Fox doc on Apple TV+). And the TV side is just as buzzy (Disney+’s Muppets Mayhem, Hulu’s Class of ’09 and the third season The Great, Apple TV+’s City on Fire) but how many of these shows actually made the charts? Plus Prime Video streamed the Academy of Country Music Awards for the second time…but did anyone watch?
Let’s dive right in, starting with the film side.
(Reminder: The streaming ratings report focuses on the U.S. market and compiles data from Nielsen’s weekly top ten viewership ranks, ShowLabs, TV Time trend data, Samba TV household viewership, company datecdotes, and Netflix hours viewed data, Google Trends, and IMDb to determine the most popular content. While most data points are current, Nielsen’s data covers the weeks of May 8th to April 14th.)
After a few weeks of near-nothingness in terms of streaming films, we finally have some action this week! I counted four major streaming releases, three of which made one of the ratings charts. I sometimes struggle with how to organize these mini-dives so let’s dust off an old framework: most confusing to least confusing.
Very Confusing – Air on Prime Video
Air on Prime Video takes the spot. What’s that? Did I forget a subtitle?
(As I remarked a few weeks back, streamers are increasingly titling films and TV shows with “book-esque” lengthy subtitles. Now I can’t stop seeing them everywhere.)
So was this $52.5 million grossing film at the domestic box office “popular”? Maybe. It’s on a four week run on TV Time, which his probably its best metric:
Samba TV also let us know that it had 1.1 million viewers in its first three days (Friday to Sunday), which for Prime Video is…fine? Through three days, that viewership lags behind Borat Subsequent Movie Film (which may have had a Covid-19-related ratings boost) and Shotgun Wedding from February. It’s almost assuredly behind The Tomorrow War and Without Remorse (we only got four days of data for those, but I mean c’mon they were huge hits) and maybe Cinderella (which was not a huge hit).
It also topped the Showlabs charts, but in comparison to other Prime Video films since 2022, it still wasn’t elite. (Showlabs data doesn’t go back to The Tomorrow War or Without Remorse, only going back to the start of 2022.) And both Samaritan and Shotgun Wedding had better opening weekends:
The rest of this article is for paid subscribers of the Entertainment Strategy Guy, so if you want to read more about…
- The Mother’s big debut and Still: A Michael J. Fox Story’s good customer reviews
- Crater cratering while Spider-Man swings onto Disney+
- The ACM Awards on Prime Video vs the CMT Awards on CBS/Paramount+,
- Queen Cleopatra and the latest season of Queer Eye
- Over sixteen original table and graphs.
- …and a whole lot more, please subscribe.
We can only keep doing this great work with your support. If you’d like to read more about why you should subscribe, please read these posts about the Streaming Ratings Report, why it matters, why you need it, and why we cover streaming ratings best.