The Amazing Thing About the ‘Bluey’ Streaming Numbers

Americans streamed 21 million years of video in 2023, according to Nielsen, and a hell of a lot of that was Australian series “Bluey.” Whoops, we mean a heck of a lot — it’s a kids show, after all.

The Disney+ import was the second most-streamed program of 2023, according to new Nielsen data, behind only “Suits.” Ah, biscuits.

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“Suits,” which originally aired on USA Network from 2011-2019, was an absolute streaming juggernaut in 2023. It topped Nielsen’s streaming charts for 12 straight weeks, snapping an old “Ozark” record. And all it took was one Netflix licensing deal — and a ton of prominent placement by its algorithm. It would have been trifficult for any show to compete with that.

But consider the “Bluey” achievement. It and “Suits” offered roughly the same number of episodes (145 vs. 141) in 2023, but the two programs have wildly different runtimes. “Suits” is an hourlong drama (or 44 minutes without commercials); “Bluey” episodes run about eight minutes apiece and are ad-free. The runtime disparity creates a clear minutes-streamed advantage for “Suits,” which tallied 57.7 billion minutes of them in 2023.

There is also, arguably, a platform advantage. “Suits” was available on Peacock both before and after it joined the Netflix library. “Bluey” is on one streaming service (in the U.S.), Disney+, where in 2023 it was consumed for 43.9 billion minutes, or about 24 percent less than “Suits.” It doubled its 2022 viewership and unseated two-time reigning champ “Cocomelon,” a compilation of nursery rhymes that streams on Netflix.

By the end of the “Suits” boom, Netflix had about 73 million subscribers across the U.S. and Canada and Peacock had 28 million U.S. subs. Disney+ had 46.5 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. (Netflix and Disney do not separate the U.S. and Canada; Peacock is only available in the U.S., which is the only region Nielsen measures.)

Even with some double-counting among Netflix and Peacock subs, “Suits” clearly had the bigger total addressable market. On the other hand, “Bluey” is more appealing to the average Disney+ subscriber.

Neither “Suits” or “Bluey” — nor “Cocomelon,” for that matter — are originals to their respective streaming platforms; none of 2023’s Top 10 programs are.

“Ted Lasso” was the most-streamed original series of 2023 with 16.9 billion minutes; it’s a very impressive number considering the relatively small Apple TV+ footprint. (Apple does not release subscriber numbers, but we have a general sense of the SVOD service’s relative size based on third-party usage numbers. Suffice it to say, there are not a lot of Apple TV+ subs.)

The Jason Sudeikis series was buoyed in 2023 by two unique factors: 1) It is likely the show’s final season, and 2) Episodes were lengthened. (Season 1 episodes were 30 minutes apiece, Season 2 eps expanded to 45-minutes long; Season 3 episodes ran 60 minutes and culminated with a 76-minute finale.)

Extrapolate that latter point to “Bluey.” Despite roughly the same number of episodes as “Suits” and episodic runtimes around one-sixth the length, “Bluey” drew nearly three-quarters the minutes viewed. A small but hearty show, in more ways than one.

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