Netflix’s Bright December: Americans’ streaming behavior analyzed

 In Behavioral Analysis, Competitive Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Featured, Popular, Site Analysis, Streaming, Top 10, Trends

Netflix viewership roared back in December after streaming activity fell to the lowest rates for 2016 in November. During December, Netflix’s overall audience grew by 56 percent over November. Netflix Originals saw even larger increases in month-over-month streaming activity, especially for binge-watching, which was up 87 percent from November. Impressive as the recovery was, overall viewership in December was still three percent lower than the monthly average for 2016. Read on for our full online streaming analysis.

Top 10 shows on Netflix in November

Every month, we analyze Netflix streaming behavior within the US to identify the most popular shows and MoM viewership trends. As always, we focused our analysis on two distinct behavioral cohorts: “Binge watchers” who watch a minimum of five episodes of a show in a day, and “casual viewers” who watch at least 20 minutes of a show in a day. This month, we found that casual viewing grew by 56 percent MoM and binge-watching activity increased by 26 percent in December. As for the shows streamed, sitcoms reign supreme, as all the top ten shows binged and watched on the subscription video on demand (SVoD) platform in December were 30-minute sitcoms.

December’s growth was mostly due to increased streaming of The Office, Friends and Bob’s Burgers. These three shows attracted 41 percent more binge watchers in December than in November, together accounting for 36 percent of binge-watching of the top ten shows. These three shows also attracted two-thirds more casual viewers in December than during November, accounting together for 40 percent of the activity.

Family Guy remains the most binge-watched show, claiming first place for the seventh consecutive month with 18 percent of the binge-watching activity. Runner-up for binge-watching is The Office with 13 percent of the activity. The Office edged Family Guy out of the lead for casual viewing in December, a position it had held since July.

What else? The Netflix original program Fuller House made the top ten watched list with 8 percent of the casual viewers, while the rest of the shows that made the November top ten lists carried over to December.

Top 10 Binged Shows Top 10 Watched Shows
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 Family Guy 18% The Office 17%
2 The Office 13% Family Guy 14%
3 Friends 12% Friends 13%
4 Bob’s Burgers 11% Bob’s Burgers 10%
5 American Dad! 11% Futurama 9%
6 Futurama 11% American Dad! 8%
7 How I Met Your Mother 7% Fuller House 8%
8 Parks and Recreation 6% How I Met Your Mother 8%
9 That ’70s Show 6% Parks and Recreation 7%
10 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 6% It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 7%

Top 10 Netflix Originals in November

Binge-watching and casual viewing of Netflix original programs saw substantial MoM increases in December. Binge-watching was up 87 percent and causal viewership increased by 65 percent over November. December’s growth can be attributed to two Netflix original programs: Fuller House and Trollhunters. Both shows released new seasons to the SVoD platform during December which drove them to the top of our lists, accounting together for half of the activity.

The second season of Fuller House premiered on December 9th and instantly rose to first place on both lists, bringing in 24 percent of binge-watchers and 35 percent of the casual viewer-base for the top ten shows. Fuller House replaced The Crown as the most popular show in December. The Crown fell to last place for casual viewing, following a 53 percent MoM decline in streaming activity. However, The Crown’s audience drop is not the reason that Fuller House claimed the lead, as Fuller House attracted nearly 3x more viewers in December than The Crown did in November when it debuted on the streaming platform.

Trollhunters debuted in the SVoD platform on December 23rd and claimed second place on both of December’s top ten lists, accounting for 22 percent of the binge-watching activity and 15 percent of casual viewing of the leading ten Netflix Originals.

Three additional original programs made the December list, thanks to audience surges following new season releases: Pacific Heat, The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Travelers. Pacific Heat debuted on December 2nd and brought in five percent of the casual viewing and binge-watching audiences. The fourth season of The Adventures of Puss in Boots was released on December 16th and drove the show into the top ten most-binged list, accounting for three percent of the activity. Travelers debuted on December 23rd and claimed sixth place for casual viewership with six percent of the activity.

Top 10 Binged Shows Top 10 Watched Shows
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 Fuller House 24% Fuller House 35%
2 Trollhunters 22% Trollhunters 15%
3 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 14% Star Wars: The Clone Wars 10%
4 Trailer Park Boys 11% Arrested Development 7%
5 Arrested Development 9% Trailer Park Boys 7%
6 BoJack Horseman 6% Travelers 6%
7 Pacific Heat 5% Black Mirror 6%
8 The Adventures of Puss in Boots 3% BoJack Horseman 5%
9 The Seven Deadly Sins 3% Pacific Heat 5%
10 The Ranch 3% The Crown 4%

It’s worth mentioning that although Sense8 has been around since 2015, the two-hour Christmas Special, released on December 23rd, pushed the series into the top 20 shows watched for the first time since we began our analysis.

Bottom line: It appears that November’s retail holidays had a stronger impact on Netflix viewership than the December holidays, at least as measured by monthly streaming volumes. As for what was streamed, not a lot has changed as sitcoms are still the go-to for most streamers. What will 2017 have in store for us? Stay tuned and we’ll find out together.

Recommended Posts
Jumpshot audience buyingJumpshot audiences