Turns out if you cancel all sporting events, severely hamper traditional TV production, shut down bars, movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, and hassle people when they go outside, they'll sit in their homes all day and stream content. Who would've thought?
According to Nielsen, the premiere of the crime drama's third season put up better numbers on its release day than Tiger King did when it debuted. Ozark tallied an average minute audience of 975,000 U.S. viewers when it came out on March 27. That figure represents nearly 350 percent of the U.S. average minute audience (which was 280,000) that tuned into Tiger King when it was first uploaded on March 20.
Feel free to note that Ozark is a returning series, and that Tiger King was a relative unknown with little to sell it other than an autoplay trailer with a crazed protaganist sporting a mullet and cowboy hat.
Also, for those wondering, average minute audience is defined by Nielsen as "how many viewers there are in an average minute of content."
Still, the comparisons of the show are relevant since both premiered after stay-at-home policies greatly limited people's options to entertain themselves.
When compared to itself, Ozark also tripled the viewership from its Season 2 premiere (which had an average minute audience of 314,000) after that season launched on August 31, 2018.
Variety reports that Ozark similarly trounced viewership for the Season 7 debut of Orange Is the New Black (536,000) and the opening of the second season of Mindhunter (395,000). Both of those came out in the summer of 2019.
As for how the whole season has done (at least thus far), Ozark has snagged an average minute audience of 8.7 million U.S. viewers. That was in just its first 10 days of being streamable. The series has also been watched by 16.4 million unique U.S. viewers.
To continue putting it in perspective with the recent pop culture phenomenon (just because it's easier for both of us), day two of Ozark's release had an average minute audience of 1.6 million viewers, and a slight dip on day three, where it brought in a still impressive average audience of 1.3 million. Those were the two biggest days out of the season's first 10.
To compare that to Tiger King, the Joe Exotic-starring docuseries had an average minute audience of 768,000 during its second day, and then jumped up to 1.3 million on day three.
After that, admittedly, it kind of kicked Ozark's ass (not that Ozark defines itself entirely on how it stacks up against big cat–collecting weirdos). While Ozark's numbers began to fall after day two, Tiger King had an average minute audience of 2 million by day seven, and 4 million by day nine. Tiger King also had 34.3 million unique streamers in their first 10 days, which more than doubles Ozark.
This level of binging is what happens when social distancing takes the chill part out of Netflix and chill.
The streaming numbers are still open for debate since Nielsen's ratings don't include territories outside the U.S., and they also don't factor in people who watch on PCs or mobile devices. Still their the closest/best indicator that's currently available outside of applying to Netflix and then working your way up the ladder until you're in a position to know.
Netflix has done well due to the coronavirus (uh, please don't let that lead to conspiracy theories). On Tuesday it announced that 15.8 million new subscribers have signed up worldwide in the first quarter of 2020. That's twice what the company expected to add in Q1.
Here's hoping Netflix learns from some of the complete dumbasses who've asked for bailouts over the past few weeks, and put some of that money away in anticipation of leaner times.