Season four of Stranger Things had a massive premiere weekend audience on Netflix, scoring one of the biggest viewing time figures of the past two years. But it wasn’t the only big TV opening on Memorial Day weekend.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latest Star Wars series on Disney+, more than held its own, according to Nielsen data for May 27-29.
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Viewers spent some 5.1 billion minutes watching Stranger Things the week of May 23 — marking only the fourth time since Nielsen started tracking streaming viewing that a series has broken that barrier. (Tiger King did so twice and Ozark once in March 2020.) The 5.1 billion minutes encompasses all episodes of the series, not just the seven episodes of season four that premiered on May 27 — though Nielsen notes that the seven episodes of season four accounted for 4 billion of those minutes, nearly 80 percent of the total.
Netflix’s internal measurement had season four of Stranger Things scoring the best premiere weekend ever for an English-language series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, meanwhile, clocked in at 1 billion minutes for its first two episodes, becoming only the third Disney+ series (after The Mandalorian and Loki) to reach that mark. That it did so with just those two installments is all the more remarkable; the others had at least five episodes streaming when they crossed the billion-minute line.
The disparity in total viewing for the two shows isn’t a surprise, given that Nielsen measures all episodes of a series in its streaming rankings: Stranger Things has released 32 episodes as of May 27 to just the two for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Nielsen also broke down the average audiences for both shows’ premieres from May 27-29, and while Stranger Things still holds an advantage, it’s considerably narrower.
The Stranger Things season four premiere had an average viewership of 12.72 million over those three days, based on 966.6 million minutes of viewing time divided by the episode’s 76-minute running time. The Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere averaged 11.18 million viewers (592.3 million minutes divided by a 53-minute run time).
Nielsen’s streaming ratings measure viewing in the United States, not worldwide, and only on TV sets, not on mobile devices.
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