Why ‘Wednesday’ Could Be Netflix’s Next Big Hit I Charts

Netflix probably expected “Wednesday” – its new horror-comedy series based on the “The Addams Family” character Wednesday Addams – to be a strong performer when it debuts on Wednesday. But new anticipation data from Whip Media shows that might be underselling the show – with “Wednesday” looking like it’ll enjoy one of the best Netflix debuts in years.

According to data from Whip Media based on users of TV Time, a TV and movie tracking app with 24 million registered users, “Wednesday” has more followers than all but one Netflix original series heading into its first episode. (“The Witcher” lapped “Wednesday” and all other Netflix shows in terms of pre-launch followers.) This is the case for “Wednesday” when compared to any other Netflix originals, including “Bridgerton” and “The Sandman,” since 2019.

“Twenty-eight days pre-launch, ‘Wednesday’ had over 50,000 followers in the TV Time app – among the top 2% of Netflix original series since January 2019,” Eric Steinberg, Whip Media’s media research and insights lead, wrote. “At 14 days pre-launch, it had over 60,000 followers, just ahead of what ‘The Sandman’ had at that point. We therefore expect Wednesday will have one of the stronger Netflix Originals premieres in recent years, likely on par with that of ‘The Sandman.’”

That doesn’t mean “Wednesday” is guaranteed to pull in more viewers than bona fide hits like “Squid Game” and “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” — those series had smaller followings heading into their release, but quickly gained traction among Netflix viewers thanks to strong word-of-mouth. And there have been shows with strong pre-launch followings that wound up disappointing in actual viewership. Still, there’s good reason to believe the strong pre-launch following for “Wednesday” will translate into a healthy amount of views.

“We see this intent to view data as a reliable indicator of eventual viewership,” Steinberg wrote. “We analyzed this data for every original series produced by the major SVOD platforms between January 2019 and January 2022, and for each platform we saw strong correlations between pre-release follower counts and subsequent viewing.”

“For example, per the TV Time app, Netflix launched 720 original series in the three-year timeframe, more than any other SVOD. Shows in their top 5% of follower counts 14 days ahead of premiere had a 77% probability of being in the top 10% of shows viewed by the end of its first week post-premiere.”

Another good sign for Netflix: Whip Media’s age data indicates the show will have a younger audience skew than that of the average Netflix original show or movie. Overall, two-thirds of the show’s followers are between the ages of 18-39, according to Whip Media’s data.

That’s a big deal, considering Netflix’s new ad-supported tier just launched. As Steinberg noted in the paper, the young following for “Wednesday” takes on “added importance” because “many advertisers prize younger viewers.”

Of course, we won’t know whether “Wednesday” truly resonates with fans until it officially hits Netflix. But between its promising pre-launch follower count and its formidable youth demo, betting on “Wednesday” to be a major Q4 performer for Netflix looks relatively safe.

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