Netflix users bade adieu to The Office at the beginning of 2021. Peacock is now the exclusive digital home of the hit NBC sitcom. Just how big a deal is that? Peacock’s different tiers are based partly on how much access you get to Dunder Mifflin. The more you pay, the more of the show’s seasons and bonuses you get. That might sound ridiculous, since it’s just one series on a site with a deep catalogue. But based on the raw numbers, it seems to make financial sense. The Office was far and away the most streamed show of 2020.
Nielsen has released streaming numbers for 2020 (which we first saw at Variety). The Office easily topped all shows, both original and “acquired,” for the many services on the market. Viewers watched a combined 57,127 billion minutes of the sitcom. That topped the next two most watched shows, also both found on Netflix: Grey’s Anatomy (39,405 billion minutes) and Criminal Minds (35,414 billion minutes). All three topped the most watched original streaming series, Netflix’s Ozark (30,462 billion minutes).
If not for Baby Yoda, Netflix would have swept the top ten of both lists. Only Disney+’s The Mandalorian was able to break Netflix’s stranglehold, with 14,519 billion minutes watched. That was good enough for fifth on the original series rankings. You might think the show’s dearth of episodes prevented it from climbing higher, since it only consists of 16 chapters so far. But Tiger King and its eight episodes came in ahead of it at fourth place, with 15,611 billion minutes watched.
Clearly Netflix still stands atop the streaming service mountain. But it’s also clear that when people are stuck indoors for most of the year, they watch a whole lot of television. That almost certainly caused many of these numbers to be higher than they would have been otherwise, including The Office‘s.
That doesn’t mean Peacock is foolish for charging extra to access more of the show. When everyone had to find something to watch, and they had every option, they overwhelmingly wanted to return to Scranton. That’s unlikely to change even when people can return to their normal lives.
Featured Image: NBC