With 2023 now behind us, Nielsen has collected all of the viewing data for the United States for the year, and Disney+ dominated the movie category and also had some big hitters in other categories. 

Over half of the most watched films of the year were on Disney+, with “Moana” being the most watched movie across all platforms, at 11.6 billion minutes viewed.   Since Nielsen began measuring streaming, audiences have watched nearly 80 billion minutes of “Moana”, translating to the full movie being watched 775 million times.

“Encanto” was the second most popular film, sitting at  9.7 billion minutes.  While Pixar’s latest film, “Elemental”, was the fourth most watched film, with 8.6 billion minutes viewed, behind “Super Mario Bros”, at 8.8 billion.  “Frozen”, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, and “Avatar: The Way Of Water” were also in the top ten most-watched films of the year.

In terms of original programming, “The Mandalorian” was the most popular show on Disney+, pulling in 12.3 billion minutes following the release of the third season in the spring, plus the availability of the two previous seasons.

The most watched original of 2023 was Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso”, pulling in 16.9 billion minutes, while Netflix’s “The Night Agent” was the most watched original on Netflix, pulling in 14.4 billion minutes.

In terms of acquired shows, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” was a big winner on Netflix, pulling in 38.6 billion minutes of viewing time, making it the fourth most-watched show of the year.  This is one reason why Disney recently made a new deal with Netflix to gain shared access to previous seasons for Hulu and Hulu On Disney+, in exchange for over a dozen other older ABC/20th titles.

“Bluey” continues to be a huge powerhouse for Disney+, as it was the second most viewed show of the year, at 43.9 billion minutes viewed, behind “Suits”, which pulled in over 57.7 billion minutes viewed.

One key thing to note with streaming numbers is generally, established shows with more episodes tend to get much more watch time since audiences have many more minutes to watch.  So, statistically, newer shows have a much harder job of becoming the most watched shows of the year, compared to shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” or “NCIS”, which have hundreds of episodes.

It’s also worth noting that Nielsen’s numbers only come from streaming platforms, and throughout 2023, we’ve started seeing studios, including Disney, using multi-platforms, including linear and FAST (Free Ad Supported TV), which wouldn’t be counted.

Check out the full charts from Nielsen below:


Did you watch “Moana” on Disney+ in 2023?  What other films did you enjoy?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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