StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES, AUSTRALIA : The Top 20 Originals in 2019 from Parrot Analytics. Plus a Comparison with UK and U.S. Demand

This post covers the online demand for Netflix Original Documentaries in Australia.

  • The Australian findings reveal an overwhelming similarity with the U.S. and UK, also English-speaking markets.
  • Its as if Australia is a distant Wales or Hawaii with precious little national identity with respect to its Netflix audience’s appetite.

Measuring Audience Demand

  • The data is provided by research firm Parrot Analytics which measures online audience demand for programs across all platforms.
  • Today’s post continues my series on Netflix’s Top 20 Original Documentaries.
  • Parrot Analytics has generously shared their proprietary data on the Top 20 Documentary and Scripted Originals on Netflix in the U.S., UK, France, Germany & Australia.

Top 20 Netflix Documentary Originals
Demand Expressions / Capita
January 1 – July 7, 2019

1Making A Murderer      1.1016
2The Chef Show      0.7761
3Our Planet      0.5463
4Formula 1: Drive To Survive      0.5216
5Wild Wild Country      0.4882
6Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes      0.4091
7Dirty Money      0.2559
8Chef’s Table      0.2143
9Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened      0.2046
10Knock Down The House      0.1787
11The Confession Tapes      0.1653
12Last Chance U      0.1580
13Ugly Delicious      0.1473
14Evil Genius: …America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist      0.1369
15The Staircase      0.1256
16Street Food      0.1251
17Dark Tourist      0.1217
18Girls Incarcerated      0.1123
19Flint Town      0.1093
20Wormwood      0.0932

Source: Parrot Analytics
* Average Demand Expressions® per 100 Capita over Date Range


  • Parrot’s Demand Expressions® is a very useful and widely subscribed tool for programmers to value the online impact of programs, content brands and genres.
  • Demand Expressions® is a valuable workaround for Netflix’s notorious black hole for information about its audience.
  • Note that measures of online engagement deliver strategic and commercial insights, but they don’t sell soap powder like the data syndicated by the Nielsen-type ‘dinosaur’ ratings services.

Aussie vs U.S. vs UK Rankings

  • Netflix is a global platform that exploits the efficiencies of programs that can be licensed for all territories.
    • Only 1 out of 20 on Australia’s list (Wormwood, #20) is not in the U.S. and UK lists.
    • Beginning with Making A Murderer at either #1 or #2, the rankings are very similar across these English–speaking markets.
    • Most of the Top 20 are series or limited series in all territories.
    • Knock Down The House is a remarkable global success for a single doc.
  • Crime leads all genres in all territories.
    • Wormwood (#20) is the only series found just in the Aussie Top 20.
  • It’s interesting that Netflix hasn’t yet cracked Australia’s Sports-mad audience as in UK with Sunderland ’til I Die.
    • I’m waiting for Dusty Martin‘s star turn in Richmond Tigers Til I Die.
  • David Attenborough ranks #3 in Australia versus #2 in UK and #4 in US, and Our Planet is the only Wildlife series in all three lists.
  • Read about my new study Netflix: What You Need To Know Now!

Comparing Documentaries vs Scripted

  • The “Scale Difference” column below calculates the multiple in Demand for the Scripted vs Unscripted show at each rank from 1 – 20.
    • For example, in Australia, Stranger Things registers around 6.7 times the Demand expressed for the #1 Making A Murderer.
    • The comparable US multiple for Scripted Originals vs Documentary Originals is 7.1X and UK 5.4X.
    • The Documentary genre is significantly more popular in UK than in Australia and the U.S. as measured by the demand for Netflix Originals.
  • With a little extra math, we find that Stranger Things registers 13X the Demand for Our Planet for Australia versus 9X in UK and 12X in the U.S.
    • Australians lag even further behind the UK audience than the U.S. with respect to Documentary Demand.
  • Read the UK Top 20 here and the U.S. Top 20 post here.
  • And don’t miss Netflix exec Diego Buñuel revealing his documentary buying strategy at Sunny Side of the Doc.

Thanks to my Editorial Assistant: Christine Watson

Top 20 Netflix Scripted Originals
Demand Expressions / Capita
January 1 – July 7, 2019



1Stranger Things7.36896.7
3Black Mirror4.08027.5
4When They See Us2.94395.6
7Designated Survivor2.04538.0
8The OA1.75478.2
1013 Reasons Why1.66319.3
11The Society1.654410.0
12House Of Cards1.612410.2
13Love Death And Robots1.30688.9
15Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events1.22229.7
16The Crown1.17999.4
17Altered Carbon1.16919.6
19Lost In Space1.00039.2

Source: Parrot Analytics
* Average Demand Expressions® per 100 Capita over Date Range

Demand Expressions®

  • Demand Expressions® is the global TV measurement standard developed by Parrot Analytics that represents the total audience demand being expressed for a title within a market.
  • Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement and viewership, weighted by importance.
  • A stream/download is a higher expression of demand than a ‘like’/comment.

About Parrot Analytics

  • Parrot Analytics is the leading global content demand analytics company for the multi-platform TV business. With the world’s largest TV audience demand datasets, the company currently tracks more than 1.5B daily expressions of demand in over 100 languages from 200+ countries to reveal the content consumers engage with and watch the most across platforms.
  • Parrot Analytics is a trusted partner to some of the biggest media companies and content creators in the world, helping them optimize content workflows in real time. Partnering with companies across the entire content supply chain, from agencies to global direct-to-consumer platforms, Parrot Analytics helps drive better production, distribution, acquisition and marketing decisions, as well as increased subscriber growth and retention.
  • The company has offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Singapore and Auckland. Connect with us on YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • For more information, see

‘Are you Muriel Heslop?’

  • Not a Netflix Original, but I couldn’t help adding Toni Colette (Muriel) and one of my beloved nieces Rachel Griffiths (Rhonda) in the ‘feminist masterpieceMURIEL’S WEDDING.
  • Earlier this year we joined Toni and a packed Lincoln Center cinema audience for a marvelous 25th anniversary celebration of Muriel‘s New York premiere.