The Most Watched U.S. Streamers: Netflix dominates Disney+, Apple TV+ and more. PBS viewing is resilient

Netflix‘s commanding lead on the flock of streamers is captured in a new set of U.S. data just released by GfK MRI-Simmons and shared by Byron Media‘s John Morse.

Interviews were conducted over a 12 month period and respondents were asked which streaming services they watched during the last seven days.

The most active commissioners of documentary & unscripted programs are:

  • Netflix (64.4% viewed last 7 days)
  • Amazon Prime (40.7)
  • Hulu (29.1%)
  • Disney+ (28.2%)
  • Apple TV+ (6.1%)
  • PBS Passport (1.4%).

Discovery + will be included in the next quarterly set of data.

What You Need To Know

  • Netflix more than doubles weekly viewers of Disney+ (including Nat Geo).
  • Apple TV+ viewers are one tenth of Netflix’s!
  • YouTube viewing is mainly for User-Generated-Content.
  • Prime viewing includes multiple channels that consumers access thru the convenient Amazon payment process.
  • PBS Passport viewing is incremental to the PBS broadcast and catchup window, and therefore indicates the resilience of public broadcasting as we move deeper into the streaming era. (More to come on this thought!)

Why the Data Matters!

The global TV economy is racing from the channels model to the streaming model without a guidebook.

Nielsen, BARB, Eurometrie and other rating services have long given us standardized, widely-accepted and detailed audience measures. These data are invaluable tools for producers who are preparing pitches for particular channels, dayparts and slots.

However, Netflix and the streamers are proprietary platforms that don’t share their viewing data. Their audiences are hidden inside ‘black boxes’ that leave producers and distributors in the dark.

To fill the gap, numerous research firms are using an array of methodologies to shine a light on viewing habits today. Together these pebbles of data throw some light inside the black box.

My Documentary Business newsletter will double down on finding and publishing useful snapshots of viewing data worldwide.

The goal is to help producers, distributors and other documentary industry participants to better understand what the streamers want, and therefore what to pitch them.


About Byron Media

Thanks to John Morse and Byron Media for today’s MRI data.

Dr Morse is a longtime valued partner who specializes in audience profiling for all media including production companies, channels and streaming services. 

Byron’s research has been widely used by industry organizations for 25+ years.

Contact John for more information.  He can help with audience measurement and documenting the value of viewers for producers and sponsors using a combination of primary and syndicated research.

  • Visit www.ByronMedia.com.
  • Or call his NYC office at 516-627-5634 for a complimentary evaluation of your company’s research needs.

John says “Let Byron Media make the critical difference for you!”