9 months of streaming TV data show the most popular franchises on Netflix, Disney+, and more major platforms
Insider analyzed nine months of TV demand data from Parrot Analytics.
Two shows, "Stranger Things" and "The Mandalorian," were the most consistently popular.
The data suggests that Peacock is lagging in the most popular IP compared to other streamers.
With so many platforms in the streaming space, exclusive and popular IP is essential for media companies looking to get a leg up on the competition.
Insider regularly looks at the biggest TV shows available to stream, through data from Parrot Analytics. The data firm measures audience demand, which reflects the engagement with and interest in a TV show.
The company has provided Insider with plenty of data during the streaming boom of the last few years, including a monthly ranking of the top nine most in-demand original streaming shows in the US for each of the last nine months (since July 2021). The rankings are based on how much more in demand the show is than the average series in the US.
Insider analyzed that nine months of streaming data, and some points stood out:
Netflix's "Stranger Things," Disney+'s "The Mandalorian," and HBO Max's "Titans" were the most consistently popular original streaming shows in that time period, appearing on every ranking.
NBCUniversal's Peacock was the only major streaming service that didn't have a series make any of the rankings in that time, suggesting it's lacking popular franchises.
HBO Max's DC Comics-based TV shows were essential for the service, with three of these series appearing in the rankings, including "Titans."
Genre series based on preexisting material dominated the data, from superhero shows to fantasy and sci-fi. But some non-genre series also broke through thanks to positive word of mouth, like Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" and Hulu's "Only Murders in the Building."
There are of course other metrics to determine popularity. Netflix releases its own rankings of its most-watched shows and movies every week based on viewing hours, for instance. The streamer's biggest show ever based on global viewing hours, the Korean hit "Squid Game," peaked at No. 2 on Parrot Analytics' rankings in October, suggesting global audiences may have been more engaged with the series than US audiences.
But Parrot Analytics' data gives a good sense of the type of content that is driving substantial buzz for the major streaming services, even if that doesn't necessarily reflect viewership figures.
Below are details on the most in-demand original shows on every major streaming service from July to March:
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon has invested heavily in genre content recently, and its most in-demand shows reflect why.
Its fantasy series "The Wheel of Time," based on the novels by Robert Jordan, peaked as the No. 2 series on the monthly demand rankings in December, behind Netflix's own fantasy hit, "The Witcher."
But the series was the biggest new series in the US last year, according to Parrot Analytics. In its first 30 days of release, it was more in demand than other new hit shows including Disney+'s "The Book of Boba Fett."
Amazon's sci-fi series "The Expanse," which premiered its series finale in January, also made the ranking that same month.
It bodes well for Amazon's upcoming big-budget "Lord of the Rings" series, "The Rings of Power," and planned video-game adaptations like "Fallout," "God of War," and "Mass Effect."
But even as Amazon doubles down on fantasy and sci-fi content, one of its first breakout hits, the comedy "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," was one of the most in-demand series of March as it concluded its fifth season.
Here's every Prime Video series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
"The Wheel of Time"
"Ted Lasso" was Apple's only series to be ranked over the last nine months, but it made Parrot Analytics' list eight out of those nine months. The word of mouth has been consistent for the series, giving Apple a much-needed breakout hit ahead of the series' Emmy win last year for best comedy (and the company's 2022 Oscar win for best picture for "CODA").
Apple's aforementioned triumphs have made it a power player in Hollywood. Apple TV+ doesn't have the subscriber base that other platforms do (the investment firm Wedbush estimated in a recent report that it has around 25 million paid subscribers). But after a shaky launch in late 2019, the service has released shows to critical acclaim, including "Ted Lasso" and "Severance," which wrapped its first season on Friday.
Demand for its shows may not be as important for Apple as it is for other companies. It's primarily looking to attract top talent (and sell its devices). Winning awards doesn't hurt, either. But with "Ted Lasso," it's shown that it can release a hit to rival even DC and "Star Wars" series in buzz.
Here's every Apple TV+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
A new season of the "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian" hasn't debuted since 2020, but the show is still consistently one of the most in-demand streaming series in the US.
Even after its spinoff, "The Book of Boba Fett," debuted in December, "The Mandalorian" topped the demand rankings in February and March. It bodes well for the future of the series, but time will tell if future Disney+ "Star Wars" series can ride the show's momentum; "Boba Fett" peaked in the monthly demand rankings at No. 2 in February.
Disney+'s Marvel shows haven't shown the same consistency as "The Mandalorian." "Loki" peaked in demand in July after premiering in June, but had fallen off the rankings by October. "Hawkeye" peaked at No. 3 in December after premiering in November, but disappeared from the ranking by February.
"WandaVision," though, was still among the top shows in September after debuting in January, suggesting that some Marvel shows can break through the high volume of Marvel content being released. By contrast, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," which premiered after "WandaVision," didn't appear at all in the demand rankings over the last nine months.
It's hit or miss for Marvel shows, it appears.
But while Marvel and "Star Wars" are Disney+'s biggest franchises, the service may need to broaden its originals if it wants to attract new subscribers, especially if those shows don't maintain demand.
Here's every Disney+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"The Book of Boba Fett"
"Star Wars: The Clone Wars"
Over the last nine months, "The Handmaid's Tale" only appeared on the monthly demand rankings in July at No. 9. But even as the critical praise has waned throughout its four-season run, the show remains one of Hulu's only reliable hits.
Another breakout hit for the Disney-operated service, that's completely different from, "The Handmaid's Tale," is the star-studded comedy, "Only Murders in the Building," which made the monthly demand ranking in October.
The show premiered in late August, but steadily gained buzz over the course of its first season, which concluded in October.
Hulu is in a precarious position. It remains a US-only service after Disney scrapped a global expansion plan in favor of its international service Hotstar. Comcast still owns a stake in the service, which it's set to sell to Disney by 2024. Speculation has swirled that Disney has impeded Hulu's growth ahead of having to buy Comcast's stake. Ahead of that, Comcast will pull new NBC programming from the service later this year.
Here's every Hulu series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"The Handmaid's Tale"
"Nine Perfect Strangers"
"Only Murders in the Building"
HBO Max's DC shows will be essential for the service. "Titans," which originated on the streamer-turned-digital-comics service DC Universe, was one of the most consistently in-demand series on any service over the last nine months.
"Doom Patrol," another former DC Universe series, and "Peacemaker," a spinoff of "The Suicide Squad," were also in demand.
But non-superhero shows have also broken out for Max. Most recently, the pirate parody "Our Flag Means Death" has been a breakout hit, and is the biggest new series in the US of the year so far, according to Parrot Analytics.
The shows highlight the different audiences that Max is targeting compared to its sister premium cable network, HBO.
Here's every HBO Max series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"Our Flag Means Death"
Without established IP of its own, Netflix has built franchises by snatched up existing material with established fanbases, like "The Witcher" fantasy novels by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski that also inspired a hit video-game franchise.
Netflix's series based on the books has appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings for the last five months, peaking at No. 1 in December when its second season debuted.
Some of Netflix's other most in-demand shows were revivals of shows that originated at other networks, like "Cobra Kai," "You," and "Lucifer."
So it's impressive that "Stranger Things," an original concept, has become such a hit for Netflix. The series is one of a few to appear on every ranking, peaking at No. 1 twice in August and November, even though its third season debuted nearly three years ago. But anticipation for the upcoming fourth season, which premieres in May, is high.
Here's every Netflix series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"Arcane: League of Legends"
Paramount+ is going all in on the "Star Trek" universe with multiple shows currently streaming or in the works, so it's promising that "Star Trek: Picard" surged in the demand rankings in March, appearing at No. 3.
While it was the only Paramount+ series to make any of the monthly rankings in the last nine months, the service still has popular content aside from that. Paramount has said that the "Yellowstone" prequel "1883" was the service's biggest original series in terms of viewership.
Streaming rights for "Yellowstone" belong with NBCUniversal's Peacock, but the show's creator, Taylor Sheridan, is making more spinoffs for Paramount+.
Here's every Paramount+ series that appeared on Parrot Analytics' rankings (in alphabetical order):
"Star Trek: Picard"
NBCUniversal's Peacock is the only service that didn't have a series make the demand rankings in the last nine months. Even some of the streamer's critical darlings, like the "Saved By the Bell" reboot or "Girls5Eva," didn't make the cut.
It suggests that Peacock has a franchise problem, which could be an issue if it wants to build a substantial subscriber base.
But Peacock also has a different business model than the other major streamers. While others, like Hulu and HBO Max (and soon Disney+) offer cheaper ad-supported options, Peacock is the only service among the major streamers included in this analysis that offers a free, ad-supported tier.
It also relies more on live events than the other services, and has banked heavily on licensed, non-original content like "The Office" and "Yellowstone."
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