Acquired TV Content Dominates Streaming Platforms

When it comes to streamers' top original programming, acquired TV shows are the most-viewed. Many of these shows had a previous life on linear TV.

The top 15 acquired programs on streaming platforms in 2021 averaged 19.62 billion minutes among persons two years of age and older, according to a Nielsen roundup of streaming activity for 2021. That's almost double the total for original streaming content, which came in at 10.8 billion minutes.

Nielsen compiles streaming-platform data from most -- but not all -- major premium streaming services: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Apple TV+.

The top acquired top shows for 2021 -- all on Netflix -- are: “Criminal Minds,” 33.9 billion; “Cocomelon,” 33.3 billion; “Grey’s Anatomy,” 32.5 billion, “NCIS,” 29.5 billion” and “Heartland,” 20.4 billion.



Top original shows, also all from Netflix, are “Lucifer,” at 18.3 billion; “Squid Game,” 16.4 billion; “Great British Baking Show,” 13.6 billion; “Virgin River,” 12.9 billion; and “Bridgerton,” 12.4 billion.

According to Nielsen analysis, the positive is that acquired programs on premium streamers are finding new audiences. They generally pull in new 18-to-34-year-old viewers -- complementing the older linear TV audience, with the average viewers 55 and older.

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