A Way in for Netflix Originals? Americans’ Streaming Behavior Analyzed

 In Consumer Behavior, Featured, Popular, Site Analysis, Top 10, Uncategorized

Netflix looks to be continuing its steady infiltration into American households as 2017 rolls on. While binge-watching of the top 10 Netflix titles dropped in April by 13 percent year-over-year and 12 percent month-over-month, overall viewership increased by almost 7 percent YoY and 1 percent MoM. Read on for more monthly online streaming analysis.


Familiar faces at the top

When it comes to overall viewership of both Netflix originals and shows from partner networks, a familiar cast of characters led the way in April, as Family Guy, The Office, and Friends made up the top three in both the most-binged and most-viewed categories. Percentage-wise, there was very little monthly change in the most-viewed category (with one notable exception; more on that later), as The Office, Friends, and Family Guy respectively garnered 18 percent, 15 percent, and 13 percent of the top 10 most-viewed titles. The most-binged category tells a similar story, with Family Guy, Friends, and The Office respectively claiming 18 percent, 15 percent, and 15 percent of the top three. While the order has changed from month to month in some cases, these three shows have yet to be bumped out of the top three most-watched and most-binged in 2017.

The only new entry to the overall most-viewed list in April was a big one. The somewhat controversial Netflix original 13 Reasons Why, which premiered on March 31, was the fourth overall most-viewed title in April, garnering 11 percent of the top 10 viewership.

Top 10 Binged Shows in April Top 10 Watched Shows in April
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 Family Guy 18% The Office 18%
2 Friends 15% Friends 15%
3 The Office 15% Family Guy 13%
4 American Dad! 11% 13 Reasons Why 11%
5 Futurama 9% Parks and Recreation 8%
6 How I Met Your Mother 8% Archer 8%
7 Parks and Recreation 7% How I Met Your Mother 7%
8 That 70s Show 6% Futurama 7%
9 Archer 6% American Dad! 7%
10 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 5% It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 5%


New originals make a splash

While the usual third-party suspects maintained their rule at the top of overall Netflix viewership, a number of developments among Netflix originals indicate huge potential going forward, something that will be of great encouragement to Netflix, who has plans to continue to spend boatloads of money on original programming. The most headline-grabbing development is the aforementioned 13 Reasons Why, whose runaway viral success was nearly on the level of Stranger Things last summer. In addition to its impressive fourth-place rank among all watched shows in April, the show claimed a staggering 40 percent of the top 10 most-viewed Netflix originals, with second-place Grace and Frankie some distance behind at 13 percent, and while the show is not without its fair share of controversy in the news, one place it has succeeded is in capturing the attention of teenage viewers, a notoriously difficult demographic to nail down.

April featured a couple other new original debuts beyond 13 Reasons Why, namely Bill Nye Saves the World and Dear White People. Encouragingly for Netflix, both shows made it into the top 10 lists for both most-watched and most-binged originals, with Bill Nye grabbing 7 percent of both the top 10 most-watched and most-binged, and Dear White People garnering 6 percent of the top 10 most-binged and 3 percent of the top 10 most-watched.

Top 10 Original Binged Shows in April Top 10  Original Watched Shows in April
# Title % of Top 10 Title % of Top 10
1 Trailer Park Boys 32% 13 Reason Why 40%
2 Grace and Frankie 15% Grace and Frankie 14%
3 Arrested Development 12% Trailer Park Boys 13%
4 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 8% Bill Nye Saves the World 7%
5 BoJack Horseman 7% Chewing Gum 5%
6 Bill Nye Saves the World 7% Arrested Development 5%
7 Dear White People 6% Marvel’s Iron Fist 5%
8 Dawn of the Croods 5% Star Wars: The Clone Wars 4%
9 Chewing Gum 5% Dear White People 3%
10 Dragons: Race to the Edge 3% BoJack Horseman 3%


Bottom line: On one hand, one could look at the numbers and think not much has changed and that Netflix perhaps got lucky with another viral hit in 13 Reasons Why. On the other hand, though, the promising debuts of these new original shows in April play right into Netflix’s hand. As Jumpshot CEO Deren Baker wrote on LinkedIn, the conversion rate from third-party to original show viewership is very high, and those Netflix customers who watch more than one title a month are much more likely to watch original content. Their hope is to hook readers in with the popular third-party shows and then get them to stick around for the original content, and with a steady slate of increasingly diverse and compelling original titles coming out each month, that strategy looks poised for success.

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