According to Nielsen, Season 3 of “Ozark,” the crime drama thriller starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, scored an average minute audience of 975,000 U.S. viewers on its release day (March 27). That’s more than triple the premiere-day U.S. average minute audience for “Tiger King” (280,000 on March 20).
Of course, that makes a bit of sense: “Ozark” is a returning series with a built-in fan base, while “Tiger King” opened as a mostly unknown docuseries that then exploded into a pop cultural phenomenon.
Both shows did have something in common, however: They launched in the starting days of at-home measures that left audiences looking for new entertainment while sitting at home.
“While surprise new hits like ‘Tiger King’ have dominated news coverage and the cultural zeitgeist as of recent, streaming platforms are releasing new seasons of established content to great success as well,” Nielsen said in its release of “Ozark” data.
And indeed, Netflix audiences were anxious to return to “Ozark,” which nearly tripled in viewership on the first day of its Season 3 premiere vs. its Season 2 premiere on August 31, 2018 (314,000).
Those day one numbers were also far higher than the Season 7 launch of “Orange is the New Black” on July 26, 2019 (536,000) and Season 2 of “Mindhunter” on Aug. 16, 2019 (395,000).
Overall, Nielsen said “Ozark” garnered an average minute audience of over 8.7 million U.S. viewers in its first ten days of availability, and reached 16.4 million unique U.S. viewers during that same time frame.
In comparison, Season 2 of “Ozark,” which became available on Aug. 31, 2018, attracted an average minute audience of 5 million U.S. TV viewers, and a reach of 11 million unique viewers, in its first ten days of availability.
“Ozark” continued to do well in the first several days of its Season 3 release. On day 2, it brought in an average minute audience of 1.6 million viewers, while day 3 was at 1.3 million average audience.
In comparison, “Tiger King” leapt to an average minute audience of 768,000 on day 2, and 1.3 million on day 3.
Here’s the full “Ozark” initial ten-day tracker of average minute audience:
Premiere (March 27): 975,000
Day 2 (March 28): 1.6 million
Day 3 (March 29): 1.3 million
Day 4 (March 30): 857,000
Day 5 (March 31): 821,000
Day 6 (April 1): 652,000
Day 7 (April 2): 616,000
Day 8 (April 3): 540,000
Day 9 (April 4): 786,000
Day 10 (April 5): 579,000
Season 1 (10-day): 8.7 million
Meanwhile, according to Nielsen’s social content ratings, there were 344.9K total social interactions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter about Ozark from March 27 to April 5.
“Ozark” was the No. 3 most social program from during that ten-day time frame among all digital series. And compared to “Ozark” Season 2’s first ten days of availability (Aug. 31 to Sept. 9, 2018), Season 3 had a 1002.10% increase in Twitter organic fan interactions.
As always, a caveat: Critics have argued that Nielsen’s SVOD ratings are still underrepresented because it only covers the U.S. and doesn’t include viewing on mobile devices or PCs. But insiders have said that Nielsen numbers are pretty close to internal data — and Nielsen has been working on its streaming ratings methodology for some time for its SVOD Content Ratings.
Even Netflix, which once outright pooh-poohed the Nielsen data, has come around, somewhat: Last year, CEO Reed Hastings admitted that the Nielsen numbers would be useful to measure time being spent on the service “in the streaming war.”
Netflix announced yesterday that it had added 15.8 million new subscribers globally in the first quarter of 2020, more than doubling its forecast for the quarter.