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The Nielsen Streaming Charts For The Mandalorian - Week 5

Another Friday, another update for the Nielsen Streaming Charts. This week they added episode 5 of The Mandalorian season 3, which was about the pirate attack on Nevarro which gets repelled by the Mandalorians. So how did the episode do? Pretty well. The Mandalorian is #4 on the general streaming charts and #3 on the original series charts with 878 million minutes. Netflix’ #1 series The Night Agent obliterates the competition with 3.06 billion minutes though. But how does The Mandalorian season 3 compare to season 2 and the other Star Wars shows? Click through to find out!

The Mandos defend Nevarro against space pirates

If you want to know about the usual caveats and other disclaimers about how difficult it is to use Nielsen’s metric to compare different shows and episodes please read one of the previous articles in which I explain it all in great detail. For brevity’s sake I will not repeat it here.

So how does The Mandalorian season 3 episode 5 compare? Let’s see!

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 5,  41:03 minutes, 878 million viewing minutes = 21.38 million “people”
The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5, 44:48 minutes, 1,210 million viewing minutes = 27 million “people”
The Book of Boba Fett, episode 5, 50:03 minutes, 744 million viewing minutes = 14.86 million “people”
Obi-Wan Kenobi week 5 (episode 6), 48:21 minutes, 860 million viewing minutes = 17.78 million “people”
Andor week 5 (episode 7), 50:11 minutes, 418 million viewing minutes = 8.33 million “people”

The Mandalorian season 3 average: 22.95 million “people”
The Mandalorian season 2 average: 25 million “people”

So what can we say? Episode 5, as far as we can tell, lost viewers compared to the previous week where viewing minutes may have been boosted by the Ahmed Best cameo who portrayed a Jedi Knight rescuing Grogu in an Order 66 flashback. The numbers are down by 4.55 million. Which is pretty substantial, it’s a little more than a 17% decline.
Also, compared to season 2 week 5 (episode 5) viewership is down almost 21%. If you wonder why the numbers for season 2 are so high, it’s because episode 5 featured the live action debut of Ahsoka. Season 3 had no high profile guest stars at all, and Ahmed Best as Kelleran Beq hardly qualifies here, almost no one will even know who Kelleran Beq is, so people tuned in because of Best, but not his Star Wars character, whereas in season 2 people certainly were curious about live action Ahsoka and not necessarily about Rosario Dawson. The season average after 5 episodes is also better for the season 2, season 3 is down by 8.2%.

After five episodes, just past the halfway point of the season, a picture emerges, The Mandalorian is still popular, but it has lost some of its momentum with season 3. As far as we can tell, and again, the Nielsen numbers are not ideal really, viewership is down by more than 8%. Even though Disney+ added some 10 million subscribers in the US and Canada since season 2.

Now this is not a disaster, but certainly cause for some concern.

And when we look at the other series we see that the first The Mandalorian episode in The Book of Boba Fett boosted ratings for that series significantly, but it’s still much less than The Mandalorian has. Which in turn means that several million people probably never watched how Grogu returns to Din Djarin almost immediately after the emotional season 2 finale.

Obi-Wan Kenobi started out strong but lost a lot of momentum over the course of the mini series. The numbers for the finale are ok, but not great. And Andor found its niche with about 8 million “people”, same as before. But it also means Andor only reached about 30% of The Mandalorian’s numbers. Andor is many things, but not a crowd pleaser.

Next week will be really interesting, since Nielsen will then include the Lizzo/Jack Black episode. Ratings could go either way… either a season or even series low… or people tuned in out of morbid curiosity.

What else: as usual the charts are entirely dominated by Netflix. While many streaming services release their episodes every week Nielsen’s binge model makes sure they obliterate the competition. And the thing with Netflix is that once one series fades they have another one lined up which then obliterates the competition. The binge model seems to be working in their favor. A recent analysis by Bloomberg also suggests this. Of course you can only do that if you have plenty of shows lined up in your schedule.

Disney only has four series/movies on the charts. The Mandalorian, Bluey (not their own show), Moana and Encanto reenters the charts with pretty low numbers. Netflix dominates here as well and their #1 movie has four times the viewing minutes of Disney’s Moana. And 7 times that of Encanto. To provide some perspective, newcomer Paramount+ who have but a fraction of Disney’s subscriber numbers (but they have added the most subscribers in recent months compared to other streaming services, something which is to be expected for a newcomer) have Top Gun Maverick on the movie charts and it has almost the same numbers as Moana.

Now Netflix has an advantage of course, they have more paid subscribers and account sharing also adds a lot of people in the US who can watch Netflix. Estimates say that Netflix, with people who use a shared account, reaches about 100 million people in the US. Disney+ not even half of that. Still, Disney’s shows and movies underperform when compared to Netflix and accounting for the higher subscriber base. This is nothing Bob Iger will probably like. Often Netflix shows and movies have 3, 4 or even 7 times as many viewing minutes, even if they only have roughly 2.5 as many people who can theoretically watch the content.

And that’s it for this week. We will reconvene next week when we will find out what Lizzo and Jack Black did for The Mandalorian ratings.

The Nielsen Streaming Charts



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