The Disney Plus series Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi has managed to hold its own in terms of overall audience viewership compared to rival Netflix’s Stranger Things 4: Volume One in the United States.
Nielsen has revealed, via The Hollywood Reporter, that the Memorial Day Weekend head-to-head between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Stranger Things 4 was white-hot with tens of millions of viewers on both shows – more specifically, Stranger Things 4: Volume One and its three previous seasons got 12.72 million viewers from May 27 to 29, and Obi-Wan Kenobi came in a close second with 11.18 million viewers during the same amount of time. Many of these viewers are shared, but that’s still a pretty massive achievement for a service like Disney Plus, which is just now in its third year of operations.
In terms of minutes watched overall, it’s no contest – Stranger Things 4: Volume One, combined with the previous three seasons, amounted to 5.1 billion minutes viewed, versus Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s 1 billion minutes viewed. But therein lies the catch, as Stranger Things has a lot more viewable content, both in terms of average per-episode runtime and in number of episodes; the three full seasons and the first chunk of the fourth account for 32 episodes and well over 30 hours of content, while the premiere for Obi-Wan Kenobi accounts for 2 episodes that run for under 2 hours. Furthermore, only 4 billion of the minutes viewed were of the newly-released episodes of Volume One, and the remaining 1.1 billion minutes were for previous episodes. So naturally, Stranger Things has a built-in advantage there, between dropping many episodes at once and not utilizing a weekly format.
Worth noting is that Nielsen only measures viewership in the United States, so how each show did likely varies from country to country since the level of popularity for Star Wars and Stranger Things varies from place to place. Nonetheless, this goes in line with previous reports of how the show’s debut is the biggest worldwide launch for a Disney Plus original series, along with reports of how the show is the most highly-demanded new original series for a streaming platform.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi airs on Disney Plus on Wednesdays, with its first four episodes out of six available to stream right now. Meanwhile, Stranger Things 4: Volume Two, showing the remaining two episodes and approximately four hours left in the season, arrives on July 1, 2022.