‘The Ranch,’ ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ ‘Voltron’ Return to Top 10 Digital Originals Chart

Driven by double-digit gains in demand, three digital originals returned to the top 10 the week that ended Dec. 15, according to Parrot Analytics Data.

“The Ranch,” with a 42.9% increase in average daily Demand Expressions, shot up to No. 7 from No. 15 the prior week. The Netflix sitcom, which debuted in 2016, is set on a ranch in a fictitious small town in Colorado and follows a dysfunctional family consisting of two brothers, their rancher father, and his divorced wife and local bar owner.

“Star Trek: Discovery,” from CBS All Access, came in at No. 8, with just over 20 million average daily Demand Expressions, an 18.6% gain from the prior week, when the sci-fi series was ranked at No. 13.

And “Voltron: Legendary Defender,” from Netflix, rode a 37.6% increase in average daily Demand Expressions to the No. 9 spot, up from No. 21 the prior week.

Demand Expressions is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from 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.

Elsewhere on the chart, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” tumbled from No. 1 all the way to No. 5 with a 20% decline in average daily Demand Expressions, just one week after the supernatural teen-witch series regained the top spot on the digital originals chart it had held for five of the past six weeks.

Taking its place at No. 1 was perennial favorite “Stranger Things,” whose rise from No. 4 was powered by a 45.6% gain in demand.  The likely trigger was the release earlier in the month of a teaser for Season 3, which is expected to bow in 2019, most likely in the summer or early fall.

Set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s, the first season focused on the disappearance of a young boy amid various supernatural events, including the appearance of a girl with psychic powers who helps look for the boy. Season 2 is set a year later and focuses on the town’s attempts to return to normalcy.

The DC Universe series “Titans” rose to No. 2 from No. 5 the prior week, with an 8.7% uptick in demand, while Amazon Prime Video’s award-winning comedy “The Marvelous Mrs, Maisel” continued its climb up the chart, landing at No. 3, up two spots from the prior week, thanks to a 10.5% spike in demand.

“Narcos: Mexico” slipped to No. 4 from No. 2 the prior week.

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 global demand for TV content 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.


IHS: Netflix Needs More Than ‘Sacred Games’ to Drive Consumer Adoption in India

There’s a reason Netflix is emphasizing localized content and talent when expanding service abroad: Consumer adoption.

With over-the-top video by nature offering loss-leader pricing, services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video haven’t yet engaged in price warfare against regional competitors.

But simply regurgitating Hollywood movies and TV shows is a strategy of the past in markets such as India and China – two regions of the world Netflix and Amazon want to establish significant presence in.

In India, OTT video services will add 25 million subscriptions over the next five years, three million more new subs than pay-TV. It will exceed 35 million OTT video subs by the end of 2022, according to new data from IHS Markit.

When it comes to choosing connected video services, IHS found that more than 76% of connected consumers in India feel local content is important – with 74% citing the importance of quality subtitling and dubbing. Pricing also remained important across all markets surveyed.

As Netflix & Co. increase their focus on the Indian video market, including investment in local content, they continue to face competition from India’s well-established local OTT players.

The country’s successful domestic film and network TV markets pose challenges for newcomers lacking local content libraries. Despite launching “Sacred Games” this year, featuring Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan, IHS says Netflix still has a long way to go to grow its Indian subscriber base.

Star India launched Hotstar, an ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service in 2015, followed by SVOD service, Hotstar Premium, in 2016. The service is forecast to grow its Indian subscriber base 60% this year, accounting for 25% of all online video subscriptions in the market.

Its success has largely been supported by content investments, including premium sports, local-language content and international content from HBO, Disney and Fox.

Although pricing is the most important factor in a video service across all country markets surveyed by IHS, Indian consumers were most likely to cite price as an important factor in their video service decisions.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) among pay-TV subs in India reached $4 monthly in the satellite heavy market, while local OTT subscription services cost less than $1 per month. In comparison, the basic Netflix subscription in India costs $7.

To succeed and grow in India’s content-hungry market, IHS says global OTT video players need to provide the correct mix of content at the right price.

Paramount Releasing Season One of ‘American Vandal’ on DVD Feb. 12

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release American Vandal: Season One on DVD Feb. 12.

The Peabody Award-winning mockumentary “American Vandal” takes a satirical look at true-crime programming. The eight episodes of the first season deal with the investigation of who perpetrated a high school prank of spray-painting phalli on several cars in the parking lot.

The show ran for two seasons on Netflix in 2017 and 2018.

Channing Dungey Joins Netflix as VP of Original Content

Former ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who made headlines last year yanking “Roseanne” off the air after its star, Roseanne Barr, made a racist tweet, is joining Netflix as VP of original content.

Dungey, who reports to Cindy Holland, VP of original content, joins Netflix in February. In November it was announced Dungey would be leaving ABC after two years.

While at ABC, she helped get series, “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” among other series, on the air.

“We’re delighted to be adding Channing’s expertise, leadership and deep experience to Netflix, and I look forward to partnering with her as we continue to grow and evolve our global network,” Holland said in a statement. “I have been a fan of her character and approach from our early days as executives.”

“Channing is a creative force whose taste and talent have earned her the admiration of her peers across the industry,” added CCO Ted Sarandos. “She’s a risk taker and ground-breaker and talent love working with her. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her to Netflix.”



Theater Group: Netflix Doesn’t Hurt Exhibitors

Netflix’s adamant strategy to release original feature films concurrent with theatrical distribution is not hurting exhibitor business, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

In fact, data from a survey of 1,400 respondents conducted by Ernst & Young found consumers of over-the-top video services are frequent moviegoers – well above non-streamers.

Respondents who watched at least one theatrical release in 2017, also streamed at least one hour of video per week. The ratio increased among avid moviegoers. Indeed, 33% of respondents who watched nine movies in the theater, also streamed at least 15 hours video per week.

“People who consume a lot of content do so across multiple platforms,” NATO spokesperson John Fithian wrote in a recent blog post. “The movie industry is not a zero-sum game.”

Fithian said it could be argued that Netflix undermines broadcast television and transactional VOD markets. Streaming services, Fithian said, can work “hand-in-hand” with exhibitors.

He cited Amazon’s decision to adhere to the tradition 90-day theatrical window for original movies, Manchester by The Sea and The Big Sick– the former generating Amazon industry awards (Best Actor for Casey Affleck and Best Screenplay for director Kenneth Lonergan in Manchester) attention, in addition to domestic box office tallies of $48 million and $43 million, respectively.

Fithian argues Netflix is leaving money on the table bypassing theaters, which have largely boycotted the SVOD pioneer’s movies due to its distribution edict.

Netflix has reversed course this year on original movies Roma and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs– titles the streaming service is heavily lobbying for Oscar contention in 2019 – reportedly at the behest of directors Alfonso Cuarón and Joel and Ethan Coen.

Both titles have received limited exclusive theatrical distribution in an effort to satisfy Academy Awards voters.

NATO cited distributor Neon, which last year reportedly turned down $12 million from Netflix to release I, Tonya in theaters. The film went on to generate Oscar nominations, including Best Supporting Actress win for Alison Janney and sell $30 million in domestic movie tickets.

“The transactional value for film is diminished [by Netflix’s model],” Neon founder Tom Quinn told IndieWire. “It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, you can dip in and out, and if you don’t like a movie, you move on.”

NATO’s Fithian said exhibitors would welcome Netflix into the foldif it respected the theatrical window.

“Filmmakers and movie lovers will appreciate Netflix so much more,” he said.


Ampere: Global OTT Revenue to Top Box Office in 2019

It’s an over-the-top world, now with the box office living in it.

New projections from London-based research firm Ampere Analysis contend global revenue ($46 billion) from over-the-top video platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will supplant the worldwide box office ($40 billion) in 2019.

With Netflix and Prime Video already driving SVOD revenue passed the domestic box office in 2017, the trend is expected to repeat in the United Kingdom this year and in China in 2019.

Surprisingly, Ampere found that SVOD subscribers remain frequent moviegoers, with subscribers attending theatrical screenings twice as often as non-subscribers. The ratio increased by a factor of three in Japan – despite SVOD services costing about half as much as a theatrical ticket.

“Our analysis of consumers in 15 markets reveals that although there are differences in the cost of cinema attendance by country, there’s clearly an appetite for content amongst some consumers, whether that be on the big screen, or a smaller one,” senior analyst Toby Holleran said in a statement. “The key for cinema is to understand that while SVOD subscribers are more avid cinema goers, this may not always be the case. Therefore, the shared experience of watching a film on the big screen must remain an enticing — and realistically priced.”




Netflix Originals Demand Share to Overtake Licensed Content by Fall 2019

Demand for Netflix Originals is estimated to overtake the share of demand for licensed titles by October 2019, according to new research by Parrot Analytics and Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Netflix has a goal of having 50% of its content be comprised of Netflix originals, notes the report, which leverages Parrot Analytics’ Demand Expressions metric, which uses social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging, micro-blogging, fan and critic rating platforms, peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites to measure consumer demand.

The report compared the sum of U.S. demand for both Netflix original series, and the licensed titles available on the U.S. Netflix service each month. While currently the most in-demand content tends to be licensed titles, the proportion of the demand share from Netflix original titles has generally grown month over month, according to the report. Overall, for the 12 months analyzed, the demand share for Netflix originals grew an average of 1 % each month. From July 2017 to June 2018, the streaming service’s reliance on licensed content dropped by 10.9%. Based on these 12 months of data, the report forecasts that Netflix will generate 50% of U.S. audience content demand with its own original content from October 2019 onward.

The report from Parrot Analytics and Kagan also looked at demand for television content across streaming subscription video-on-demand platforms in the United States. Overall, the report found demand for content on all major SVOD platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime, and Starz, has increased over the past year.

For the premium channel VOD platforms (HBO Now, Showtime, and Starz), new content from their linear channels tends to be the most in-demand, the study found. However, Parrot Analytics affinity analysis reveals that the respective back catalog of each VOD platform continues to play an important role, indicating that older titles likely remain an important driver of subscriber loyalty.

“The future for the industry is likely to be even more crowded and the winners are still unknown,” said Deana Myers, research director, S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Walt Disney is expected to debut its SVOD service in 2019 and its proposed buy of the studio and libraries of 21st Century Fox will add a vast amount of content to this service. Other anticipated SVOD launches include those by Apple and WarnerMedia. We estimate the overall US SVOD industry has many strong years of growth in its future, particularly as competition from Disney and Apple could impact the market.”

Other new entrants to the online video space, such as Facebook Watch, YouTube and DC Universe, are also investing heavily in originals and acquired content, the research firms noted. At the same time, content spending for Netflix, Amazon and Hulu is expected to continue to grow at double digit rates.

The research in this report is based on a catalog demand analysis of digital-only Netflix and Hulu services, and a premium channel VOD demand analysis based on TV demand data pertaining to HBO Now, Showtime and Starz.

Shout! Factory to Distribute ‘Bojack Horseman’ on Disc

Multi-platform media distributor Shout! Factory has formed a multiyear strategic distribution alliance with Michael Eisner’s The Tornante Company to bring Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman” to Blu-ray and DVD.

Shout! Factory has exclusive home entertainment rights to the first four seasons of the Tornante Company-produced series for distribution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The deal also covers seasons two through four in Australia and New Zealand.

Five seasons have run on Netflix and season six will premiere in 2019. Reruns air on Comedy Central.

“’BoJack Horseman’ crosses boundaries, defies expectations, challenges, entertains and generally blows your mind, often through laughter. We intend to give fans something they need to own with great extras and packaging,” said Jordan Fields, VP of Acquisitions at Shout! Factory.

“Passionate BoJack Horseman fans will carry these DVDs around wherever they go, like Linus and his blanket”, said Michael Eisner, founder of The Tornante Company.

The show centers on the title character (voiced by Will Arnett), an anthropomorphized horse who is a troubled former sitcom star struggling through life with whisky and failed relationships. Now, in the presence of his human sidekick Todd (Aaron Paul) and his feline agent and ex-paramour Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack is primed for his comeback. The series also stars Alison Brie and Paul F. Tompkins.

Netflix Greenlights First South African Original Series

Netflix has announced its first original series in Africa, with South African series “Queen Sono.”

The series, which begins production next year, follows Queen Sono, the top spy in a South African agency with a mission to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life. The series will be created by director, Kagiso Lediga and executive producer Tamsin Andersson.

South African actress Pearl Thusi stars as Queen Sono, with the character having been created with her in mind. Thusi is also known for her performance in the romantic dramedy Catching Feelings, available on Netflix.

“We are excited to be working with Kagiso and Pearl, to bring the story of Queen Sono to life, and we expect it to be embraced by our South African users and global audiences alike,” Erik Barmack, VP of international original series at Netflix, said in a statement.

Director Lediga said he is pleased with Netflix’s willingness to take a homegrown South African story to a global audience.

“We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world,” he said.



‘Mrs. Maisel,’ ‘F is for Family’ Zoom Onto Top 10 Digital Originals Chart

Two digital originals shot into the top 10 the week that ended Dec. 8, according to Parrot Analytics Data.

The Dec 5 release of Season 2 propelled Amazon Prime Video’s award-winning comedy “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to No. 5 from No. 21 the prior week, with 30.4 million average daily Demand Expressions, twice as many as in the prior week.

The animated Netflix sitcom “F is for Family” soared to No. 9 from No. 48 with 18.2 million average daily Demand Expressions, up from 7.2 million the prior week. Again, the catalyst was the recent (Nov. 30) release of a new season, Season 2.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a period comedy-drama created by  Amy Sherman-Palladino. The series stars Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a housewife in 1950s New York City who finds she has a talent for standup comedy. The series won two Golden Globe Awards (Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for Brosnahan) and five prime-time Emmy Awards.
“F is for Family,” created by Bill Burr and Michael Price, revolves around Francis X. “Frank” Murphy (voiced by Burr), a hot-tempered, foul-mouthed Korean War veteran and father of three who lives in the fictitious Rust Belt city of Rustvale during the 1970s.

Elsewhere on the chart, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” regained the No. 1 spot on the digital originals chart it had held for five weeks prior to last week, when “Narcos: Mexico” jumped into the top spot, sending “Sabrina” to No. 2.

“Sabrina” generated nearly 36.7 million average daily demand expressions in the week that ended Dec. 8, to 34.6 million for the latest “Narcos” season.

Demand Expressions is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from 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.

The No. 3 spot on the digital originals chart went to “Marvel’s Daredevil,” up from No. 4 the prior week. Demand rose 12% as the fan backlash to Netflix’s decision to cancel the superhero series continued to grow.

Rounding out the top five on the digital originals chart was “Stranger Things” at No. 4, down a notch from the prior week.

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 global demand for TV content 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.