Demand for new Netflix premieres is peaking higher and lasting longer in 2023 than in recent years. So far this year, demand for the average new Netflix series peaked two days after its premiere, at 11.3 times the average series demand. The previous best year for new Netflix series was 2019 when the average new premiere peaked at 9.4 times the average series demand.
One factor driving this is that Netflix had fewer new U.S. series premiere this year. This isn’t unique to the platform though. There has been a slowdown in new series premieres across the board, in part due to the production stoppages brought on by the strikes.
This result shows how less can actually be more. By cutting back on shows that would likely have underperformed, the average demand for Netflix’s new releases has gone up. Scaling back the breakneck pace of production from recent years should make investors happy, who are looking for streamers like Netflix to make prudent financial decisions after years of a growth-at-all-costs mentality.
So far this year, Netflix’s live-action remake of “One Piece” has been the platform’s most in-demand new series premiere. It had 53 times the average series demand in its first 30 days, well ahead of other top premieres this year like “The Night Agent” and “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.”
While Netflix has experimented with breaking up some of its most high-profile shows into multi-part releases to stretch out the length of time new content will engage audiences, its new series still follow the pattern typical of the binge-release model — a large spike in demand in the first few days followed by a rapid drop off in audience attention.
Contrast this with the pattern of demand for the average HBO series premiere over the last six years. Demand for new HBO series follows a clear weekly pattern of peaks and troughs as new episodes are released each week. The average HBO series peaks six weeks into its season at 9.2 times the average series demand. Six weeks into the average new Netflix series, demand has already fallen to less than half of its peak.
Netflix may have improved its peak demand this year, but releasing its shows weekly would help it hold onto audiences longer.
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