Ozark almost lost its streaming crown to surprise Prime Video contender

Jason Bateman stars in Ozark season 4 on Netflix
Could Ozark be outmuscled by a surprise Prime Video challenger? (Image credit: Netflix)

Ozark was nearly usurped in the streaming wars battle by a somewhat unexpected Prime Video contender.

According to the newest Nielsen Top 10 streaming list rankings, backdated to the week running January 31 to February 6, the Netflix show was pushed hard by Reacher in the battle for viewers' attention.

Reacher, the Alan Ritchson-starring Prime Video TV series, only debuted on Amazon's streaming platform on Friday, February 4. After it accrued an eye-watering 1.84 billion minutes viewed in its first 72 hours on the service, Reacher unexpectedly found itself competing with Ozark season 4 at the top end of Nielsen's weekly rankings.

For comparison, Ozark accumulated a total of 2.37 billion minutes viewed. Reacher, then, was still lagging behind its fellow crime thriller by almost 500 million minutes early last month. But, given Ozark's popularity and established fanbase, the fact that Reacher got within relative touching distance shows how close it came to claiming Ozark's streaming crown.

It's unclear if Reacher will continue to cement its place in the Nielsen Top 10 rankings. We'll know for sure once the next set of data is released, but it's evident that the show has resonated with fans. That goes for Amazon Studios, too, which recently renewed Reacher for a second season.

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It should be noted that Nielsen's streaming ratings only measure US audience figures, so it's impossible to determine if Reacher had overthrown Ozark globally. The rankings only cover views accumulated on TV, too, so it doesn't take those streaming shows on computers or mobile devices into account. Still, Nielsen's numbers provide an intriguing insight into audience habits when it comes to streaming movies and TV series, and indicates how close Reacher came to knocking a Netflix heavyweight off its perch.

Meanwhile, Reacher enjoyed the biggest opening for any Prime Video show since Nielsen started to include Amazon originals in its research. Per The Hollywood Reporter, The Wheel of Time was the most recent record-holder, with 1.16 billion minutes viewed across its opening weekend. Reacher has eclipsed that by some distance, but we suspect The Boys season 3 will overtake its Prime Video sibling in that department when it launches later this year.

In less surprising news, Netflix continues to dominate the Nielsen Top 10 rankings. Ozark included, the streaming giant occupied seven of the top 10 most-watched movies and TV shows during the first week of February. Rom-com drama Sweet Magnolias, superhero show Raising Dion, and the long-winded The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window earned over one billion minutes viewed each.

Ozark season 4 part 1 continued to perform well on Netflix as February drew to a close, too. The crime drama was the seventh most-watched series on the streaming platform this week, with 12.86 million hours viewed between February 21 and February 27. That figure paled in comparison, though, to a shock Netflix movie that toppled The Tinder Swindler in Netflix's Top 10 most-viewed movies spanning the same time period.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

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