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'The Mandalorian' Delivered For Disney, Topping 2020 Nielsen Charts

'The Mandalorian' Delivered For Disney, Topping 2020 Nielsen Charts

Star Wars topped the Nielsen streaming charts with 1.3 billion minute streamed, making the show the first non-Netflix show to top the charts.

Star Wars topped the Nielsen streaming charts with 1.3 billion minute streamed, making the show the first non-Netflix show to top the charts.

Credit | Lucasfilm

Disney got some good news for The Mandalorian this year, as Nielsen, a statistics and ratings company, announced that the show topped streaming service selections from December 14th to 20th. This is the first time that a non-Netflix show has topped the category, and a major win for Disney and Disney+.

While Nielsen only tracks Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Netflix and Disney+, Netflix holds the top 10 spots for around 90% of the time. On top of that dominance, Netflix has literally been #1 for 100% of the time. There has not been a moment that Netflix was not at the top.

That was until The Mandalorian, Disney’s entrance hit into the streaming market. It drew 1.34 billion minutes of viewing time for the 14th through 20th, pushing to number one. For reference as to how big that number is, even without placement, 1.34 billion minutes is over 2500 years, or our entire AD existence.


The Mandalorian barely edged out The Office for the top spot, at 1.336 billion minutes compared to 1.311, a different of only 0.025 billion minutes. The show had previously come second to The Office the week before, but managed to eek out number one this session.

The Crown sat at number 3 with 772 million minutes, with the following in the top 10 being entirely Netflix series.

The only new program to the Nielsen list, was Netflix’s A California Christmas, a Christmas movie from the service. It finished in 10th place with 581 billion minutes streamed.

While Nielsen doesn’t capture the entire viewerbase of a service or program, they capture TV data throughout the US. Just imagine how much bigger these hits are, outside of exclusively TVs, and across the globe.

Backstory with the new kid on the block

When Disney entered the massive streaming wars in 2019 with Disney+, all hands were on deck, and all cards were available. This happened to include the Star Wars series, which led to Disney’s biggest hit yet. Fans latched on to the engaging story and stunning graphics, on a Western trip through the stars.

Viewers were instantly drawn in to the show, which became Disney’s standout hit against its still quite impressive back catalogue of classics and new releases. The series became a cornerstone of Disney culture within days, eventually drawing in 87 million subscribers after just over a year.

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Original programs seem to be the draw in for Disney+, as many weren’t tempted by the vault of past content within the service. With the upcoming WandaVision launching tomorrow, Friday the 15th, people are expected to keep showing up in troves.

Disney is expecting to spend over $15 billion on original content by the end of 2024, with huge expansions to Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, and current originals, such as the Mandalorian or WandaVision (upcoming I guess).

Even with major competition, like Netflix, who has almost 200 million subscribers with annual revenue in the dozens of billions. Netflix also happens to hold 9 of 10 slots on the Nielsen top charts, which is what this article was originally created to address.

Other services, such as HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV+, Discovery+, Quibi (rip), and more, keep appearing, but that hasn’t stopped the House of Mouse from already reaching over 100 million subscribers across their multiple platforms.

With The Mandalorian at the top spot, Disney’s setting a dangerous precedent for Netflix-esque series, possibly building them into an even more competitive and serious rival for more of the longer-standing streaming services.