Big hits of 2022

17 January, 2023

With 2022 in the rearview mirror, we can finally look back at the most successful shows released in the past year. With stronger competition between streaming platforms amid a challenging economic landscape, characterized by strong inflation, increasing churn rates, and fragmented platform catalogs creating fragmented audiences, consistently releasing big hit shows is key for a platform to convince its audience to keep subscribing.

Parrot Analytics’ data allows the comparison of all shows released in 2022 by looking at the demand for each show in the first 30 days after its premiere. According to this metric, HBO’s House of the Dragon had the most in-demand US premiere of 2022, with 56.1 times more demand than the average show in its first month. The show is a long awaited sequel to Game of Thrones, one of the most successful shows of all time, making the franchise one of the most valuable pieces of IP on TV.  

House of the Dragon is followed closely by Netflix’s recent release Wednesday and a bit further behind by Netflix production, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Those are the only Netflix shows in the ranking of 2022’s most in-demand premieres, and also the only two shows that are not part of a big superhero/fantasy franchise. This highlights Netflix ability to make a hit without the leg up that some of these mega-franchises provide. In 2021, Squid Game was the globally most in-demand new series not based on any existing IP.

Disney+ has the highest number of shows in the list of most in-demand shows released in 2022, four, of which Obi-wan Kenobi is the most in-demand. Another show from the Star Wars franchise made the cut, Andor, while the other two Disney+ titles are from the Marvel franchise.


This analysis raises another question: Which kinds of audiences do these hit shows help their platform to engage? The chart below shows that from the shows analyzed, all of them have a higher proportion of males in their audiences. Peacemaker is the one with the most male-skewing audience. Shows like Wednesday and House of the Dragon, which have a female protagonist, are the ones with a higher proportion of female interactions, around 40%. 

When it comes to generational distribution, most of the top shows from 2022 have a higher proportion of younger audiences (under 30 years old). This share is even higher for the two Marvel titles. From the Star Wars franchise, Andor seems to be attracting more mature audiences than Obi-wan Kenobi, having an equal share of audience interactions between people more and less than 30 years old. 

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds stands out when it comes to generational distribution. The Paramount+ show has by far the largest amount of alder skewing audience, mostly due to its large fanbase established by the previous episodes of the 60-year-old franchise. The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power also benefits from the same phenomenon but to a lesser extent.


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