In what was arguably the most anticipated weekend ever in streaming, the first seven episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4 squared off against the latest release from the Star Wars canon, episodes 1 and 2 of Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. To better understand the impact of these new streaming releases, we dove into the viewing data for both series during May 23-May 29, 2022, using Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings, which provides syndicated measurement of programs and episodes by streaming service.
Despite the slightly earlier release of Obi-Wan when compared with the new Stranger Things content, the previously available seasons, coupled with the number of episodes released, resulted in an insurmountable minutes viewed advantage for team Stranger Things. The kids from Hawkins (the fictitious town in Stranger Things) delivered 5.1 billion viewing minutes across the four seasons compared to 1 billion for the famous Jedi knight. But it’s important to understand the overall context of both of these premieres, and the underlying calculations. To date, we have been looking at streaming audiences based on minutes, but here we will add other statistics for additional perspective and comparison.
The release of Stranger Things Season 4 made it only the third title to ever break the 5 billion weekly viewing minute mark and places it third overall (Tiger King had 5.3 billion and Ozark notched 5.2 billion, both during the pandemic lockdown period in March 2020). The current seven episodes of Season 4 (two more are to follow in July) accounted for over 4 billion