How big was “Hamilton” for Disney+? Far bigger than anything on Netflix in July, according to 7Park Data stats provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform.
A staggering 37% of the research firm’s panel of viewers in the U.S. watched the filmed musical last month, almost three times the number that watched the second widest-reaching title of that month, Netflix’s true-crime docuseries “Unsolved Mysteries” (14%).
The “Hamilton” audience constituted the largest audience amassed by any one program over the course of one month this year across 7Park’s tracking of Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Apple TV+ (not included: HBO Max and Peacock). For instance, in June no streaming show that 7Park measured even came close to having the same level of audience reception as “Hamilton” in July. The show that reached the most viewers in 7Park’s panel that month, “Space Force,” was seen by just 8% of all panel viewers.
With Disney opting not to disclose any hard numbers on its popular streaming titles, it’s hard to grasp the musical’s actual audience size. Last month, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told employees that “Hamilton” brought in “a lot of” new subs during an all-hands meeting shortly after the musical’s July 3 streaming debut. He reiterated its success on the company’s earnings call last week.
But this latest 7Park data gives the fullest picture of just how massively successful the musical may have been. Separate app analytics firms reported weeks ago that U.S. Disney+ downloads skyrocketed during the July 4 weekend debut of “Hamilton.”
7Park measures the number of unique users who tune into titles on a daily basis and how long those users spend with titles via audio content recognition. The research firm utilizes a census-balanced panel in the range of 15,000-25,000 U.S. households watching via connected TV (either smart TVs or devices connecting TVs to the Internet, i.e. Roku).
Watching at least 2 minutes of a program is counted toward share of viewership. Mobile viewing is not measured by the 7Park panel.
Perhaps equally impressive is the idea that “Hamilton” accounted for more time spent across 7Park-measured SVOD platforms than such tried-and-true rerun hits as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” which don’t even compare to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical in terms of total runtime.
Disney+’s “Hamilton” clocks in at 160 minutes, which is roughly four times the average length of a “Grey’s” episode. But there are 14 seasons of “Grey’s” on Netflix (in the U.S.), with every season (save for S1) having 20+ episodes, meaning there’s well over 800 minutes of “Grey’s” to watch.
“The Office” and “Parks” episodes are about half as long as those of “Grey’s” on average, but the total runtimes of those catalogs still way outrun “Hamilton,” which illustrates the same point. And that point is it doesn’t seem like there were a ton of people who clicked on “Hamilton” and left after two minutes, which Disney+ competitor Netflix deems long enough to count as a view and often has fielded criticism for doing so.
The 7Park time-spent figures of “Hamilton” also suggests it ate away at minutes consumers might have otherwise spent watching their favorite reruns. The figures may even be a reflection of repeat “Hamilton” viewing among certain streamers.
But keep in mind 7Park is still measuring five of the biggest U.S. SVODs. This paired with already reported separate third-party data makes a compelling case for “Hamilton” being the streaming hit of July.
Still, even with the rise of “Hamilton,” Disney+ remained in the shadow of SVOD leader Netflix. In July, 7Park-measured households spent an average of 510 minutes on Netflix, more than two times the average spent on Disney+ (246). That’s a reminder of Netflix’s outsize reach and its commanding control over the SVOD space, even in a month when a rival streamer drops a megahit like “Hamilton.”
With the absence of a “Hamilton,” competitors of Disney+ still appeared to satisfy their subs with their own exclusive content. For example, originals accounted for 6 out of the top 10 most heavily watched shows on Netflix and Prime Video in July. For a more detailed breakdown of individual July top 10s on the major streamers, click here.