Viewership at a Glance: Insights from the 2023 Oscars
Assoc. Director of Marketing Insights & Content
Mar 21, 2023
This year’s Academy Awards were hotly-anticipated, with the race for Best Picture up in the air until the very end. Everything Everywhere All At Once’s historic win was groundbreaking for Asian-American representation and Ke Huy Quan’s emotional acceptance speech had viewers around the country in tears. Overall, in the wake of last year’s slap heard around the world, many were pleased to see a much less dramatic show.
So how did Oscars viewership stack up this year and who was watching? We took a look at trends surrounding the awards show, along with viewership of the nominated movies pre and post ceremony to shed light on how streaming is impacting one of Hollywood’s biggest days of the year.
Viewership of the Academy Awards hits a new high
With 13.3M households tuning in to this year’s Academy Awards, viewership of the event was up 15% from 2022 - and that was building upon a sizable 32% increase between 2022 and 2021. Whether those extra viewers were tuning in to see if there would be a slap-part-two this year and will skip the show in 2024 remains untold.
Who was watching the Awards this year? Asian households over-indexed by 14% based on viewership to the 2023 event, up 5 percentage points from 2022. Samba TV data has shown that viewers are more likely to watch content where they see themselves represented, and it’s likely that the historic nominations and wins surrounding Everything Everywhere All At Once brought in new viewers.
Viewership of the Awards skewed towards older audiences, with households A75+ over-indexing by the highest margin (+22%), and Gen Z and millennial audiences under-indexing. Age trends remained consistent with last year, as awards shows historically struggle to bring in younger viewers.
After the Oscars, viewers flocked to the Best Picture winner
After sweeping the awards on March 12, Everything Everywhere All At Once also swept through America’s living rooms, with over 800k U.S. households streaming it in the week after the Oscars. By comparison, the next most-watched film during that time was Tom Cruise’s much-anticipated sequel to the classic 80s film Top Gun: Maverick streaming on Paramount+, bringing in 427k household views.
And the award for most-streamed Best Picture nominee goes to….
Ahead of the show on March 12, we analyzed viewership of all Best Picture nominated films available on streaming from the date of nomination on January 24 through the week prior to Oscar night. Our data found Top Gun: Maverick drove the highest audience viewership out of all the films after Oscar nominations were announced. Although it trailed Elvis streaming on HBO Max in lifetime viewership, Top Gun: Maverick also drove the largest percentage of its viewership post-nominations (41%) of all other contenders.
Although the ultimate winner, Everything Everywhere All At Once, trailed the blockbuster hits based on streaming viewership, it was a favorite among diverse audiences. The unique comedy-drama was one of the only nominees to over-index among non-white households.
Notably, all films analyzed with the exception “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Tár” over-indexed among households in Los Angeles, where many Academy members reside. However, Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” over-indexed by the highest margin of any film (60%) in the Los Angeles DMA.
Overall, streaming films took center stage at the Oscars this year, and viewers were excited to check out Everything Everywhere All At Once in the comfort of their own homes following its Oscars sweep. With the Academy Awards show bringing in massive viewership, advertisers should be paying attention both to tentpole moments like the live event, as well as nominated streaming movies for the opportunity to reach coveted audiences.
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