‘Stranger Things,’ ‘The Boys,’ ‘Umbrella Academy’ Lead on Parrot’s Digital Originals Demand Chart

Netflix’s supernatural thriller “Stranger Things” remained No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. rankings the week ended July 1, as well as Parrot’s list of overall TV shows. The series had a 9% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity, giving it 174 times the demand of an average series. The final two extra-long episodes of its fourth season debuted July 1, so it will likely see a huge increase in demand in the coming weeks as fans head to Netflix to watch them and discuss.

The Amazon Prime Video superhero series “The Boys” remained No. 2 on the digital originals chart as its third season continues. It had 3.9% drop in demand expressions to give it 56.5 times average demand. “The Boys” was No. 3 on Parrot’s list of overall TV series.

Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” climbed to No. 3 on the digital originals chart with a 53.5% increase in demand expressions and 54.5 times the average series demand. “Umbrella Academy” was No. 4 on Parrot’s list of overall TV series.

Two Disney+ “Star Wars” series rounded out the top five. “Mandalorian” was No. 4 with 37.2 times average demand after a 2.3% drop in demand expressions. “Obi-Wan Kenobi” dropped a spot to No. 5 with a 7.9% decline in demand expressions and 34.1 times average demand.

Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” jumped nine spots to take No. 10, with a 31.7% increase in demand expressions after its June 28 second-season premiere. It had 29.3 times the average series demand.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The top non-streaming overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” at No. 2 with 65.8 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

 

Amazon Prime Video Expands Live Sports Portfolio: Secures UEFA Champions League Soccer Rights in the U.K.

Amazon Prime Video continues to invest in live sports streaming. The second-largest subscription streaming VOD service in the world July 1 announced it has secured select rights for three years to UEFA Champions League soccer, beginning in 2024.

The Champions League is a soccer tournament of 32 teams that compete for the right to be crowned the best club in European soccer. Since 2018, Prime Video streams select soccer games in the U.K.’s Premier League. The streamer also has exclusive Champions League rights in Germany and Italy.

“The addition of UEFA Champions League football is a truly momentous moment for Prime Video in the U.K.,” Alex Green, MD Prime Video Sport Europe, said in a statement. “The passion and energy [for live sports] has led us to this exciting next step.”

In the U.S., Prime Video now has exclusive rights to NFL Thursday Night Football, in addition to a smattering of New York Yankees games and sponsorship of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders.

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“[Prime Video] is now establishing itself as a key provider of sports in the U.K. as it continues to steadily beef up its programming,” Paolo Pescatore, analyst at PP Foresight, said in a note. “[The deal] will help drive Prime subscriptions and sales even further with more live sport through the year.”

Soccer continues to be coveted asset among U.S. streaming services.

Turner Sports and HBO Max recently inked an eight-year deal with the U.S. Soccer Federation to broadcast/stream more than 20 women’s and men’s national team matches annually, beginning in 2023.

Apple and MLS signed a 10-year deal making the Apple TV app the exclusive destination to watch every single live MLS match beginning in 2023.

Paramount+ is the only streaming service in the U.S. with English-language coverage of every single UEFA club competition match. That includes UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service has rights to more than 175 live Premier League matches and 1,500 hours of related coverage in the U.S.

‘Spiderhead,’ ‘The Boys’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Prime Video’s “The Boys” topped the Whip Media chart of streaming originals, while Netflix’s Spiderhead led the chart of streaming movies among U.S. consumers the week ended June 19.

The sci-fi thriller Spiderhead, which started streaming on Netflix June 17, stars Chris Hemsworth as a researcher experimenting on prisoner volunteers aiming to reduce their sentence. It’s based on the book Escape From Spiderhead.

Rising from No. 2 to the top spot on the streaming originals charts, “The Boys” is a black comedy series, based on the comic book of the same name, that follows the battle against abusive superheroes. Season three started streaming on Prime Video June 3.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 21 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

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Falling from the top spot to No. 2 on the streaming movies chart was Hustle, which debuted on Netflix June 3. It stars Adam Sandler as an NBA scout who discovers a raw but talented player in Spain and tries to prepare him for the NBA draft.

The Sandra Bullock adventure The Lost City, which started streaming on Paramount+ May 10, remained at No. 3 on the streaming movies chart. The film, co-starring Channing Tatum, follows a reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model who gets swept up in a kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure.

Rising from No. 3 to No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which started streaming on Disney+ May 27. The series, released in weekly episodes, follows the “Star Wars” Jedi 10 years after his battle with Anakin Skywalker, who becomes Darth Vader.

Falling from the top spot to No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Season four of the Duffer Brothers’ science-fiction horror drama, part one of which started streaming May 27, follows the characters six months since the Battle of Starcourt. Struggling with the aftermath, the friends are separated for the first time and are navigating the complexities of high school. Meanwhile, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.

 

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended June 19:

  1. “The Boys” — Prime Video
  2. “Obi-Wan Kenobi” — Disney+
  3. “Stranger Things” — Netflix
  4. “Ms. Marvel” — Disney+
  5. “Love, Victor” — Hulu (Season Premiere)
  6. “The Orville” — Hulu
  7. “First Kill” — Netflix
  8. “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” — Paramount+
  9. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” — Prime Video (Series Premiere)
  10. “Ozark” — Netflix

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers June 17-19:

  1. Spiderhead — Netflix
  2. Hustle — Netflix
  3. The Lost City — Paramount+
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — HBO Max
  5. Father of the Bride (2022) — HBO Max
  6. Top Gun (1986)— Prime Video/Paramount+
  7. The Batman — HBO Max
  8. Jerry & Marge Go Large — Paramount+
  9. The Northman — Peacock
  10. Ghostbusters: Afterlife — Starz

‘Stranger Things,’ ‘The Boys,’ ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Top Parrot Digital Originals Demand Chart

Netflix’s supernatural thriller “Stranger Things” remained No. 1 on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. rankings the week ended June 17, as well as Parrot’s list of overall TV shows. The series had a 12.9% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity, giving it 186 times the demand of an average series.

The Amazon Prime Video superhero series “The Boys” remained No. 2 on the digital originals chart as its third season continues. It had an 11.2% spike in demand expressions to give it 59.1 times average demand. “The Boys” was No. 3 on Parrot’s list of overall TV series.

The newest Disney+ “Star Wars” series, “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” rose a spot to No. 3 despite a 2.2% drop in demand expressions for the week. It had 39.2 times average demand and was No. 9 on Parrot’s list of overall TV series.

The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” slid to No. 4 on the digital originals chart, grabbing 38 times average demand after a 6.4% drop in demand expressions.

HBO Max’s pirate comedy “Our Flag Means Death” remained No. 5. The show had 32.6 times average demand after a 2.6% drop in demand expressions as a second season was announced.

Two Apple TV+ shows returned to the top 10 on the digital originals chart. The alternate history sci-fi drama “For All Mankind” climbed to No. 8, from No. 19 the previous week, after its third season premiered June 10, giving it a 23.2% bump in demand expressions to push it to 26.8 times average demand. “Ted Lasso” rose two spots to No. 10 after the announcement that its in-production third season would be its last.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The top non-streaming overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” at No. 2 with 72.4 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

 

JustWatch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Going in Opposite Market Directions

Since launching service in 2019, Disney+ has acquired 18% market share of the SVOD ecosystem, according to new data from JustWatch, which tracks more than 20 million users’ monthly streaming decisions across 100 countries.

At the same time, SVOD pioneers Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have seen their respective market shares decline 5% and 4% to around 30% since January 2021. Other gainers include HBO Max, up around 13%, while Hulu and Apple TV+ have realized market share declines.

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Parks: Sports Most-Popular Live-Streamed Content

Parks Associates’ new video research May 9 reports that 43% of U.S. internet households have live-streamed online content in the past three months, with sporting events by far the most popular type of content.

Sixty-one percent of live-streaming users have recently watched a live sporting event online, while newscasts, the second most popular type of content captured only 36% of live-streamers.

“Consumers who subscribe to online sports services or those who subscribe to a premium pay-TV sports package are more likely to live-stream,” Paul Erickson, director of research at Dallas-based Parks, said in a statement. “Right now, sports content is key to drawing and keeping an engaged live-stream viewer base. Even with content that benefits from live consumption — such as news and concerts — significantly fewer consumers are livestreaming this content compared to sports. The sports audience is significantly more engaged in livestreaming as a whole.”

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Indeed, sports is the reason Amazon Prime Video is spending $1 billion annually to exclusively live-stream “NFL Thursday Night Football” with play caller Al Michaels and former ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Parks found that 78% of those who subscribe to an OTT sports service have live-streamed, as opposed to just one-quarter of those who do not subscribe to an OTT sports service. Consumers who regularly live-stream content are engaged users. For many, live-streamed content is their primary content consumption. Consumers who live-stream estimate that live online content comprises close to half of their total online video consumption. Among heavy live-stream viewers, on-demand content comprises just over one-quarter of their online video consumption.

“Offering live-streaming content is an opportunity for services to draw both the highly engaged heavy live-streaming audience and live-stream-centric older audiences,” Erickson said. “Consumers in the higher age brackets can be difficult to target, but live-streaming is one option that appeals to them, provided the provider delivers the right content.”

Amazon Posts $3.8 Billion First-Quarter Loss

Amazon April 28 reported a $3.8 billion loss for the fiscal first quarter ended March 31. The loss included a pre-tax valuation loss of $7.6 billion from the common stock investment in Rivian Automotive. That compared with net income of $8.1 billion during the previous-year period. Net sales increased 7% to $116.4 billion, compared with $108.5 billion in first-quarter 2021.

Video highlights in the quarter included Amazon closing its acquisition of MGM, with MGM employees joining Prime Video and Amazon Studios. The deal complements Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ work in delivering a diverse slate of original films and TV shows to a global audience and will create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling to customers.

The teaser trailer for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” broke a global record for the most-watched entertainment trailer to debut during a Super Bowl telecast, with 257 million views globally in the first 24 hours of its release. The series debuts Sept. 2.

Longtime football announcer Al Michaels and analyst Kirk Herbstreit joined Prime Video as the voices for its exclusive coverage of “NFL Thursday Night Football.” Joining them is executive producer Fred Gaudelli, who marks his 33rd season as the lead producer for the NFL in primetime. The inaugural season under Prime Video’s 11-year agreement begins Sept. 15.

Prime Video became the first streaming service to exclusively carry a major industry award show live with the 57th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, which aired on March 7.

“Reacher,” Prime Video’s new drama series starring Alan Ritchson, ranked on Nielsen’s overall streaming Top 10 list for the first three weeks of its premiere, with a No. 1 ranking and more than 1.5 billion minutes watched in its first full week and six consecutive weeks.

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“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also landed on Nielsen’s top 10 list, with 499 million minutes viewed during the week of its season four premiere and six consecutive weeks in the Top 10 streaming originals list.

Prime Video debuted 30 local originals internationally, including new seasons of the unscripted franchise “LOL” in Canada, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as “Luxe Listings” (Australia), “Mahaan” (India), “Bang Bang Baby” (Italy), and “HOMESTAY” (Japan). New locally produced series and movies launched in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

On April 27, IMDb TV became Freevee. Amazon said the new name better defines the brand and what it offers customers — free, premium streaming content.

Amazon CEO: Prime Video to Reinvent the NFL Viewing Experience

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy lauded the e-commerce behemoth’s Prime Video platform in his annual shareholder letter covering the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2021. The executive called out the streamer’s ongoing forays into live sports, including the September launch of “Thursday Night Football,” the NFL’s first weekly, prime time, streaming-only broadcast. Amazon paid $11 billion for exclusive rights to the signature NFL event for the next 11 years.

CEO Andy Jassy

“We will work relentlessly over the next several years to reinvent the NFL viewing experience for football fans,” Jassy wrote.

Indeed, Amazon upped its bid in order to secure the Thursday night rights a year early from Fox Sports. The streamer was originally set to assume the rights beginning in 2023.

“NFL games are the most watched live programming in the United States, and this unprecedented Thursday Night Football package gives tens of millions of new and existing Prime members exclusive access to must-watch live football on Prime Video,” Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement last year.

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Jassy said Amazon’s approach to Thursday Night Football, which includes adding interactive features so streamers’ can personalize their experience, has resulted in other sports entities looking to work with Amazon.

“It’s also why so many large entertainment companies have become Prime Video Channels partners — enabling entertainment companies to leverage the [SVOD’s] technology and viewing experience,” Jassy wrote.

The executive said media companies such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Global, Starz, Corus Entertainment and Globo are driving “substantial incremental membership” and better customer experience by marketing their streaming services on Prime Video Channels.

“While there is so much progress in Prime Video from where we started [in 2006 as Amazon Unbox], we have more invention in front of us in the next 15 years than the last 15 — and our team is passionately committed to providing customers with the most expansive collection of compelling content anywhere in the world,” Jassy wrote.

Entire James Bond Movie Collection Reportedly Coming to Amazon Prime Video

On the heels of Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios, media reports say the e-commerce behemoth is set to release the entire James Bond movie catalog on Prime Video for a limited time (60 days), beginning April 15. A separate report contends the movies will only be available to stream in the United Kingdom. An Amazon representative was not immediately available for comment.

Regardless, this would mark the first time all 25 Bond movies were made available on one streaming platform, including Daniel Craig’s last go as Agent 007 in No Time to Die. Bond movies are currently available across digital platforms and on packaged media.

Titles include the first Bond movie Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to A Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die.

Parks: Amazon Prime Video Reaches 45% of U.S. Households

New consumer research from Parks Associates reveals that as of the third quarter of 2021 (ended Sept. 30), Amazon Prime Video’s subscriber penetration rate stood at 45% of U.S. internet households. By comparison, Netflix household penetration ranges from 55% to 67%, according to various industry reports.

“Amazon’s Prime pricing rise, the fourth in its history, comes barely a month after Netflix raised its fees, while Hulu raised its prices last year,” Eric Sorensen, senior contributing analyst at Dallas-based Parks, said in a statement.

Sorensen said Amazon’s debut of its “Lord of the Rings” trailer during the Super Bowl was aimed at underscoring consumer value of the Amazon membership and free video access — despite the subscription price increase.

“With inflation and the cost of content on the rise, we will likely see more providers start to slowly raise their subscription prices, trying to find that balance between revenue growth and consumer value,” Sorensen said.

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Parks estimates that in the first quarter of 2021, 77.3 million U.S. households were members of Amazon Prime and that around 71% of them watched Prime Video. Amazon Prime Video is one of the four foundations of the consumer streaming stack, along with Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.

Prime Video, like its streaming video competitors, is investing in original content offerings to keep its subscribers engaged, to encourage new subscribers, and to lure cord cutters and service hoppers. Many OTT services aired Super Bowl ads this year, promoting not just one title but the range of their content library, to remind viewers of the total value of each subscription.

“These price increases by Amazon have been fully vetted out as part of their long-term strategy to generate more revenue from subscribers over time,” Sorensen said. “Supply chain and increasing shipping expenses are being passed down to customers, but it is doubtful that Prime members will object to a twenty-dollar-a-year membership rise, the first in four years.”