Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Netflix Dominates the Streamers: The Comparative Audience Makes a Big Statement

Netflix dominates its streaming competition.

Spell that D-O-M-I-N-A-T-E-S!

My survey of the audience for US streamers in 3Q’23 focused on the Top 2 Documentary and Reality programs for eight platforms.

The chart tells the story:

Legend

  • The blue bar represents the US audience in thousands for the highest-rated unscripted program for each streamer in August and September 2023.
  • And the orange bar: the audience for their 2nd highest rated program.

The Top Two’s

And here are the top 2 programs for each platform:

Top 2 Documentary / Reality Programs by Platform
(US P2+, ‘000, 3Q 2023)

#1DEPP V HEARDNETFLIXDocumentary7,964
#2MURDAUGH MURDERSNETFLIXDocumentary5,853
#1SHINY, HAPPY PEOPLEAMAZONDocumentary687
#2COACH PRIMEAMAZONDocumentary399
#1KARDASHIANSHULUReality1,562
#2DEMONS & SAVIORSHULUDocumentary1,023
#1GOOD CHEMISTRYDISNEY+Documentary1,175
#2ANIMALS UP CLOSEDISNEY+Documentary448
#1SUPER MODELSAPPLE TVReality426
#2WANTED ESCAPE: CARLOS GHOSNAPPLE TVDocumentary135
#1GREAT POTTERY THROW DOWNMAXDocumentary336
#2SMARTLESS ON THE ROADMAXReality149
#1NEVER SEEN AGAINPARAMOUNT+Documentary226
#2FAMILY STALLONEPARAMOUNT+Reality186
#1MYTH OF THE ZODIAC KILLERPEACOCKDocumentary270
#2DATELINE: LAST DAYPEACOCKDocumentary256

Sources: Various

Scale

  • Even the #1 programs for several streamers are small fraction of Netflix’s audience.
  • Netflix’s top documentary is 10x Amazon’s #1, 5x Hulu’s, 6x Disney+, nearly 20x Apple TV’s, and so on.

Takeaways

  • It is now clear that studios and legacy channel operators like WarnerBros/Discovery, Disney, Comcast/NBC/Universal and Paramount lack the reach to catch up with Netflix.
  • They are incurring massive losses while enjoying incremental gains in streaming subscribers and revenues.
  • Meanwhile their legacy networks are losing both subscribers and ad revenues to cord-cutting.
  • A theoretical solution is to merge their content and and brands into a “Super non-Netflix” streamer. This is unlikely due to practical and “chief executive massive ego” factors that I may explore in a future post.
  • Meanwhile, Sony is the major studio that decided to sit out Hollywood’s stampede into streaming. They are  sitting pretty selling programs to all comers.

True Crime

There’s More…

  • There are many more opportunities for documentary filmmakers among the galaxy of streaming services.
  • We recently covered Docsville in depth. Watch my Docsville webinar here!
  • And don’t miss Wendy Bernfeld‘s upcoming webinar on licensing strategies for SVOD’s, AVOD/s and FAST channels, a reprise of Wendy’s standing room only MIPCOM presentation.

Ten U.S. Channels: What Are They Buying?

“Linear still matters!” is the theme of my Pact webinars with veteran programmer and analyst Dan Salerno on the U.S. channels’ programming strategies.

Watch here:

  1. Discovery Channel and Animal Planet
  2. National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild
  3. A&E and History Channel
  4. TLC
  5. HGTV & Food Network
  6. Reelz
  7. ID: Investigation Discovery

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