OTT.X Presenters: Online Viewing Growing and Services Proliferating in COVID Era

COVID accelerated online viewing, viewing habits are undergoing a big transformation, and the proliferation of OTT services has prompted the need to aggregate and partner, research presenters said at the OTT.X Fall Summit in Los Angeles Sept. 1.

“In December 2019, before the viewing uptake [with stay-at-home orders] we saw about 68 million OTT households watching about 6.4 billion hours of OTT content in a month,” noted Ray Yinger, director of marketing solutions at Comscore. “By June of 2021, this had risen to about 82 million active OTT homes watching about 8.3 billion hours of content through OTT. Though we see a bit of a dropoff after January of 2021 as some of the states began opening up and we began leaving our homes a little bit, the number of households who engage in various OTT services stays very strong. As the data show, the overall appetite for OTT content accelerated through the pandemic. More households than ever before now engage in OTT services.”

With the increased viewership also came an explosion of OTT services.

“As of the first half of 2021, there are globally 5,000 active SVOD services, more than 2,000 active AVOD and free TV services and over 1,200 transactional services available to the global consumer,” noted Marija Masalskis, advertising research lead at Omdia.

Consumers are finding services on smart TVs and other aggregation players.

“When we asked consumers how they found something to watch, flicking through channels and services came up on top, particularly among the U.S. consumers,” Masalskis said. “So what this really means is that you need to be available on these platforms that enable this new channel flicking, enable seamless discovery of content, enable consumers to just lean back and scroll through and find your service.”

Other partnerships are key, as they offer free-with-sub bundles and prime placement.

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“Partnerships with global telcos and digital aggregators are essential, not just for SVOD companies to subsidize their offering but also to AVOD companies, particularly as you see the emergence of connected TV advertising,” she said. “In fact, we expect TV to account for 25% of all online video spend by 2025. And we do expect that partnerships and alliances will be absolutely necessary to reach the scale that will enable AVOD services to compete.”

Another key is consumers’ perception of value. Consumers are willing to pay less and wait through ads, and the higher-priced premium model isn’t necessarily most profitable for services such as Hulu.

“The user that pays a smaller subscription price but is exposed to advertising brings in more revenue than the user that is on their most premium tier opting to pay more to not see ads,” Masalskis said, adding “they perceive that they are getting a premium service for a discount.”

Also, binge viewing may be on the wane as a way to attract subscribers.

“What we started to see recently is that acquisition shows are starting to have a weekly release and retention shows are being dropped as a binge,” said Renee Engelhardt, global director of partner insights at Parrot Analytics.

Streaming services aren’t the only beneficiaries of the new order.

Nelson Granados, professor of information systems and technology management, Pepperdine University, noted that in addition to video streaming, digital video rental is holding its ground and digital sellthrough is continuing to grow (8% from 2016 to 2021).

“There is a market for electronic sellthrough and it’s growing, so there is a market for downloading content and it’s steadily growing unaffected by SVOD,” he said.

YouTube and Google TV Using Parrot Analytics Data and Consulting

YouTube and Google TV are utilizing Parrot Analytics’ global audience demand data and entertainment consulting services, Parrot announced.

Parrot Analytics’ data products provide near real-time updates on the most in-demand TV series and streaming platforms in any market in the world, according to the company. The insights help inform YouTube and Google TV’s content programming decisions, Parrot announced.

“We are thrilled to be working with the world’s leading video entertainment and TV platform,” Parrot Analytics CEO Wared Seger said in a statement. “By sharing our expertise, data and consulting services in global audience demand, YouTube and Google TV will continue to evolve their content strategy based on the latest trends. We are excited to further our mission of helping more content owners and brands succeed on any screen, anywhere in the world.”

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Parrot Analytics is a global audience demand analytics company. The company helps clients with decisions in the areas of IP and content development, programming, distribution, audience and brand activation as well as global OTT strategy and operations.

Parrot Analytics: ViacomCBS Content Helping Paramount+ Competitors

High U.S. audience demand for ViacomCBS content is not being correctly leveraged to set up Paramount+ for success, according to a new report from Parrot Analytics. Indeed, ViacomCBS content is propping up the demand of Paramount+’s direct competitors, including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, according to Parrot.

In Q2 2021, ViacomCBS content had the second-highest corporate demand share of any media conglomerate in the United States, behind only Disney, according to Parrot data.

Meanwhile, Paramount+ was the sixth most in-demand streaming platform in U.S. audience demand for all on-platform content, and the seventh most in-demand streaming platform for digital original content.

“ViacomCBS has decided to go for guaranteed revenue now by licensing out its most in-demand series — such as ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Shameless’ and ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ — to other streaming platforms,” wrote Wade Payson-Denney, press insights analyst at Parrot Analytics.

ViacomCBS content makes up 7.4% of the licensed catalog demand for Hulu, 24.8% for Amazon Prime Video, and 25.6% for Netflix.

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“Demand for exclusive content — both original and licensed — is the key driver of subscription growth and retention for streaming services, so if ViacomCBS wants to truly compete in the crowded SVOD space, they have to pull back their licensed content and make it exclusive to Paramount+,” Payson-Denney wrote.

In terms of corporate demand share (a consolidation of original demand where platforms are combined based on their corporate parent to show where audience attention is ultimately going), ViacomCBS (12.3%) was second place in the United States in Q2 2021, behind Disney (18.9%) but ahead of WarnerMedia (11%) and Comcast (10.3%).

ViacomCBS series are driving major portions of demand for other U.S. SVOD services. Around a quarter of all demand for licensed series on Netflix is for a ViacomCBS series such as “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” This is around the same proportion for Amazon Prime Video and Peacock. If all these series were reclaimed by ViacomCBS and made exclusively available on Paramount+, it would have a formidable library, according to Payson-Denney.

Nearly half of the demand for content on Paramount+ is non-exclusive to the platform, and the platform is significantly lagging in total demand for its original series, the report found. This is important because demand for exclusive licensed and original content is what drives consumers to subscribe to platforms, Payson-Denney wrote.

Parrot uses a 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.

Parrot Research: Demand for Emmy-Nominated Titles Has Grown Over Past Five Years

The average U.S. audience demand for TV series nominated for five or more major Emmys has grown 65.5% in the last half decade, according to new data from Parrot Analytics.

The demand for top Emmy nominees has grown from 11.3 times more in-demand than the average show in 2017 to 18.7 times more in-demand for this year’s top nominees.

In 2017 Emmy voters rewarded more character-focused drama and comedy series such as “Veep,” “Silicon Valley” and “Better Call Saul.” While these series did have loyal fanbases, they only cracked the lower levels of Parrot’s “Outstanding” category of audience demand.

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With Disney+’s “WandaVision” and “The Mandalorian” racking up a combined 13 major Emmy nominations (and 46 overall) and Amazon Prime’s “The Boys” getting a nom for Best Drama, 2021 is by far the Emmys’ most crowd-pleasing year of the streaming era, according to Parrot.

“Emmy voters have traditionally stuck with the same series and talent year after year when it comes to nominations, even if those shows or talent don’t win,” said Parrot Analytics senior strategy analyst Julia Alexander. “But the proliferation of streaming and increase in audience demand for genre shows across new platforms have become seemingly impossible for the Academy to ignore.”

Parrot: ‘Loki’ Beats Marvel Streaming Counterparts to Most In-Demand Series

“Loki” is ruling the Marvel Universe on the Disney+ streaming service.

The series became the most in-demand TV series in the world across all platforms just seven days after launching, a faster rise to the top than its fellow Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (eight days post launch) and “WandaVision” (14 days post launch), according to data from Parrot Analytics.

On June 16 — the release of its second episode — Loki earned 89.9 times more audience demand than the average show worldwide. This was 29.5% higher than second place “Game of Thrones,” which has enjoyed a significant global resurgence in demand following HBO’s promotion of the Iron Anniversary back in April.

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On a time-shift analysis, global demand for “Loki” is virtually tied with “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while it is significantly ahead of “WandaVision.”

Seven days after their respective series debuts:

  • “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” had 90.1 times more demand than the average TV series globally;
  • “Loki” had 89.9 times more demand than the average TV series globally; and
  • “WandaVision” had 67.6 times more demand than the average TV series globally.

 

This data and the speed at which “Loki” ascended to the top of the global rankings helps explain why Disney+ has moved from a Friday to a Wednesday release date for all of its new series, following the immediate success the programming shift had on audience demand for “Loki,” according to Parrot.

“Loki” is attracting a global audience. Parrot’s Global Heat Map shows, since launching, the series has achieved Outstanding demand in Australia and countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

Parrot Analytics: WarnerMedia-Discovery Combo in Second Behind Disney in Audience Demand

The new WarnerMedia-Discovery entity is poised to be in second place behind Disney in audience demand, according to Parrot Analytics.

WarnerMedia-Discovery (16.4%) is behind only Disney (19.6%) in U.S. cross-platform audience demand, pushing Disney’s lead over the competition down to just 3.2%. ViacomCBS (15.3%) had been in second place before the merger was announced, but is now relegated to third. No other company comes within 5% of ViacomCBS.

“While the merger makes tons of sense from a cultural standpoint, more importantly it will allow WarnerMedia and Discovery to join forces, leap over ViacomCBS and close the gap with Disney in the increasingly competitive battle for audience demand and consumer attention in the United States and around the world,” Parrot analyst Wade Payson-Denney stated.

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The total demand for content originally available on a Disney property was the largest of all corporate demand shares. Disney has consistently had the lead in this race. In this scenario, Disney held a 4.3% share advantage over second-place ViacomCBS for the last month of available data. AT&T (WarnerMedia) was in third place — ahead of Comcast — while Discovery was in a distant sixth.

Parrot Analytics’ proprietary metric Demand Expressions measures demand for 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 show of any kind in the market.

Paramount+ in Close Demand Share Race With HBO Max, Peacock

Paramount+ content (9%), including such original series as “Star Trek: Picard,” is in a close race with HBO Max (10%) and Peacock (8%) in demand share, according to year-to-date data from Parrot Analytics released as the streamer’s parent, ViacomCBS, reported financials.

Parrot’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions 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.

Rebranding to Paramount+ has not yet changed CBS All Access’ standing as a medium-sized player in the United States SVOD market, according to Parrot data. The rebrand to Paramount+ in March 2021 did grant a modest boost in demand to the platform, but the relative growth in other SVODs at the same time meant this held the demand share steady rather than leading to an increase in absolute terms.

The Paramount+ U.S. SVOD demand share of around 9% is fairly stable month-by-month, according to Parrot.

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Year to date, the full Netflix catalog of original and licensed series accounts for around 20% of U.S. demand for SVOD services. Netflix consistently has the highest demand share for SVOD original series in the United States, typically around 40% to 50%, according to Parrot. However, the ongoing loss of licensed content to competitors reclaiming content for their own services may explain the downward trend for the overall Netflix demand share, Parrot noted.

The large amount of highly in-demand library/licensed content available on the Hulu platform leads it to have the largest slice of demand for SVOD services in 2021 so far. Disney’s majority ownership of Hulu combined with the market’s appetite for the much newer Disney+ service means the company is the largest entity in the U.S. SVOD market, based on audience demand.

Apple TV+ typically has around 4% to 5% of the demand share for U.S. digital original series, but their originals-only strategy leads to less than 1% share of demand of the overall U.S. SVOD market.

The HBO Max streaming service seems to occupy the same niche as the HBO cable channel, with a smaller number of highly demanded premium series, according to Parrot. This now includes tentpole superhero original series from the DC Universe service, which merged into HBO Max early in 2021. This strategy has secured a 10% demand share, placing it just ahead of Paramount+ so far this year, according to Parrot.

“The market is continually changing as new services launch, with many recent SVODs concentrating on specialist niches,” reported Parrot. “This increase in competition can be seen in the growth of demand for the ‘Other’ category over time.”

 

Parrot Data: New Platforms Gaining Demand Share at Expense of Netflix

As Netflix  releases its latest earnings report, Parrot Analytics has unveiled new data showing new platforms gaining demand share at the expense of Netflix.

Netflix is still the dominant player in the worldwide streaming game, according to the data, but its global and U.S. digital original demand share have shrunk to record lows in Q1 2021 due to rising competition from the likes of Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and other services.

Nevertheless, total global demand for Netflix original content continues to grow, according to Parrot data.

The service accounted for seven of the top 10 most in-demand digital original series worldwide in Q1 2021, and had the most in-demand digital original in the United States with “Cobra Kai.”

Total global demand for Netflix’s original content has grown 62% over the last two years (Q2 2019 to Q1 2021). However, total global demand for original content on all other platforms grew 131% over the same time period.

Netflix’s global digital original demand share hit its lowest quarterly number ever, at 50.2% in Q1 2021, down from its 53.5% demand share for the full year 2020. Just two years ago (Q1 2019) its global demand share was at 64.6%.

“It’s also a testament to the remarkable success of the many new entrants to the streaming wars over the last 18 months in creating in-demand original content and carving out a niche at the expense of Netflix,” read a Parrot press release.

Most notable has been the surge of Disney+, moving up to 6% worldwide demand share for Q1 2021 from just 3.6% share for the full year 2020, largely on the back of its two new Marvel series.

For the second straight quarter, Netflix’s digital original demand share has fallen below a majority in the United States, another sharp decline from two years ago when the streamer had 63.1% U.S. demand share in Q1 2019. Netflix’s U.S. share of digital original demand has been on a downward trajectory each month this quarter, ending with a 47.6% share in March in the United States.

Disney+’s trajectory has followed an almost inverse path from Netflix, up each month in Q1. It has risen to 7% U.S. digital original demand share, up from 5.4% for full year 2020. The first quarter saw the debut of Disney+’s highly anticipated slate of Marvel content, including the full run of “WandaVision,” and the first two episodes of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Still, despite all the headlines and attention for Disney+’s tentpole Marvel series, Netflix’s “Cobra Kai was the most in-demand digital original series in the United States for Q1 2021.

While “Cobra Kai was not the most in-demand digital original globally in Q1 and Disney+ originals dominated the top of the charts, Netflix has strength in numbers. Seven of the top 10 original series globally in Q1 were Netflix originals (compared with five in the top 10 in the United States).

Netflix’s increasing emphasis on producing and promoting non-U.S. and non-English-language originals (particularly “Dark and “La Casa de Papel) is clearly paying off with global audiences, according to Parrot, as Netflix has more digital originals in the global top 10 and a higher global digital original demand share (50.2%) than its U.S. demand share (48.1%).

Parrot Analytics’ proprietary metric Demand Expressions 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.

Ahead of Nov. 1 Launch, Studies Show High Awareness, Demand for Apple TV+ SVOD Service and Shows

Leading up to the highly anticipated debut of Apple TV+ Nov. 1, research firms are tracking high awareness for the SVOD service and original shows.

Parrot Analytics is tracking pre-release demand for the new streamer’s original series, including “See,” “For All Mankind,” “Dickinson” and “The Morning Show.” According to pre-release demand data captured leading Oct. 21-27, the company found that the upcoming Apple TV+ shows are well ahead of the audience demand average across all TV shows in the United States over the same time period.

“See” and “For All Mankind” were already attracting 11.7 and 11.1 times more demand than the average TV show in the United States ahead of launch, respectively, according to Parrot. “Dickinson” registered 3.3 times the demand average while “The Morning Show” managed 1.8 times the average in the United States during that time period.

Parrot also compared the pre-release U.S. and global demand for Apple TV+’s four top series to that of other hit streaming shows. For example, U.S. pre-release demand for the Apple TV+ series tracked well ahead of that of Hulu’s first season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the week leading up to their respective premieres. In its analysis, the company compared the average U.S. demand over the period Oct. 21-27, 2019, for the Apple TV+ series to “The Handmaid’s Tale” season one demand over its seven-day pre-premiere period April 17-23, 2017.

Findings include:

  • “See” was 897% ahead of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the lead-up to its premiere.
  • “For All Mankind” was 842% ahead of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the lead-up to its premiere.
  • “Dickinson” was 184% ahead of “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the lead-up to its premiere.
  • “The Morning Show” was 54% ahead of “The Handmaid’s Tale”in the lead-up to its premiere.

 

Internationally, the Apple TV+ shows don’t fare as well, according to Parrot research. Pre-release demand for “The Handmaid’s Tale” in most international markets pre-launch was well ahead of the pre-release demand for the Apple TV+ series on a per capita basis.

“Based on the demand that we are seeing, Apple TV+ promotion of the series in the U.S. has put them in a position to succeed domestically,” said Courtney Williams, head of partnerships, Parrot Analytics, in a statement. “However, they have to rapidly accelerate their international marketing if they hope to be a key player in the global streaming wars. The advantage of active and ongoing hardware penetration will be key domestically and should provide the necessary foundation to drive demand globally.”

Parrot also compared the pre-release demand for Apple TV+ originals over the seven-day period Oct. 21-27, 2019, with the pre-release demand for Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” (Feb. 5-11, 2019). Parrot found that “For All Mankind’s” pre-release demand is 54% ahead of the pre-release demand for “The Umbrella Academy” for the comparable lead-up period.

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Meanwhile, another study from Ampere Analysis found more than one in three (38%) U.S. respondents said they were aware of the Apple TV+ product, already higher than some peer group services — such as HBO Max — at 30%. Awareness among Apple device owners was 51% versus 25% for non-Apple device owners, and skewed towards a younger demographic. While younger Apple owners said they were the most likely to subscribe, their lack of interest in Apple TV+ original content presents a potential barrier to sign-ups, according to Ampere.

“The core target group for Apple TV+, in the short term at least, will be existing device owners aged 18-34,” said Minal Modha, consumer research lead at Ampere, in a statement. “Given the popularity of Apple devices in households, there’s already a large potential customer pool in the U.S. To sustain subscriber growth for TV+ in the longer term, Apple will want to move beyond its own device universe, and ensure it appeals to those outside its brand ecosystem.”

Apple’s decision to include the TV+ service with new device purchases appeals particularly to the younger consumer. Ampere found that 21% of Apple device owners are likely or highly likely to subscribe (compared to 13% of non-Apple owners). This rose to 29% of the 18-24 age group, and dropped to 14% of those 55-64, and 9% of those over 65.

Indicating a potential boost to Apple’s hardware business, 9% of respondents said they would buy a new Apple device to get a year’s free access to Apple TV+ and a further 9% said it would encourage them to replace their existing Apple device sooner. Ampere estimates that there are 81 million Apple device-owning households and if 10% were to replace their device six months earlier than planned because of TV+, it would generate an additional $400 million in net device margin for Apple. The same analysis for non-Apple customers suggests potential net device margin of nearly $120 million. Even under conservative device purchase and replacement assumptions, Apple will be able to offset significant sums of its U.S. content expenditure, according to Ampere.

The survey found that “The Morning Show,” a comedy drama series starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, would appeal to 35% of Apple customers (versus 25% of non-Apple device owners). “See,” a futuristic sci-fi drama starring Jason Mamoa, has a similar and strong appeal.

The survey highlighted lack of interest in Apple TV+ content as the biggest barrier to subscribing, alongside households saying that they already have enough SVOD services to keep them happy. Apple’s competitive price point of $4.99 was not a seen as a barrier.

“Apple has a different business model from the other new platform launches in that it is able to use Apple TV+ to incentivise and accelerate device replacement — and therefore generate larger cash flow through those sales to fund content spend,” Modha said in a statement. “While the research found that the main barrier to uptake of the service is a lack of interest in the content on offer, this is mainly due to Apple being new to the original content space and consumers not knowing what to expect. As Apple TV+ begins to roll, we expect this barrier will be overcome.”

Parrot Analytics Unveils Most-In-Demand Shows So Far in 2019

Data analytics company Parrot Analytics gave attendees a sneak peek of the most-in-demand shows of 2019 so far Oct. 15 during the MIPCOM global TV conference.

Parrot Analytics will host the Global TV Demand Awards for the second year at NATPE Miami Jan. 21, honoring the world’s most popular shows in several categories for 2019.

Among the 12 award categories are the Most In-Demand Superhero, Comedy, and Documentary Series in the World, as well as the Most In-Demand Exports from Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Most In-Demand Superhero Series in the World (in order) are:

  • Arrow
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
  • Doom Patrol
  • Gotham
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Marvel’s Daredevil
  • Marvel’s the Punisher
  • Supergirl
  • The Flash
  • Titans

 

Most In-Demand Comedy Series in the World (in order) are:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Friends
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Shameless
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Good Place
  • The Office
  • This is Us
  • Young Sheldon

 

Most In-Demand Documentary Series in the World (in order) are:

  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
  • Blue Planet
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  • Dynasties
  • Leaving Neverland
  • Nova
  • Our Planet
  • Planet Earth
  • Surviving R. Kelly
  • Wild Wild Country

 

Most In-Demand Export from Latin America (in order) are:

  • 3%
  • A Fazenda
  • El Chavo
  • El corazón nunca se equivoca
  • El payaso Plim Plim, un héroe del corazón
  • Galinha Pintadinha
  • La Rosa De Guadalupe
  • MasterChef Brazil
  • Porta Dos Fundos
  • Soy Luna

 

Most In-Demand Export from Asia (in order) are:

  • Attack on Titan
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • Mirzapur
  • My Hero Academia
  • Naruto
  • Naruto: Shippuden
  • One Piece
  • One Punch Man
  • Pokémon
  • Sacred Games

 

Most In-Demand Export from Europe (in order) are:

  • Black Mirror
  • Doctor Who
  • La Casa De Papel (Money Heist)
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Peppa Pig
  • PJ Masks
  • Sherlock
  • Strike Back
  • The Grand Tour
  • The Last Kingdom

 

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“As we’re getting into the last quarter of 2019, Parrot Analytics is taking a look at how some of the biggest series in the world are doing thus far. It’s a race to the end of the year and we are looking forward to soon revealing the most in-demand series in the world,” said Rebekah Zabarsky, director of marketing, Parrot Analytics, and awards executive producer in a statement. “At the Global TV Demand Awards in January at NATPE, we’ll celebrate the impact of these shows with a formal presentation of all the winners. For now, we’re highlighting six of the 12 categories to showcase how the TV landscape continues to change with new premieres and established series battling it out for viewers’ attention across all platforms and around the world.”

Parrot Analytics uses a 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.