Can '1899' drive global demand for German content higher like 'Dark' did?

2 December, 2022

Netflix’s first German language original series, Dark, helped drive demand for German content around the world higher. By the time the third and final season of the show premiered at the end of June 2020 total global demand for shows from Germany was more than three times what it had been in January 2019. However, in the two years since the finale of Dark, global demand for German content has largely stagnated without seeing the clear gains of previous years. A recent upward trend could signal that demand for German content around the world is making gains again.


The latest uptick in global demand for German content has been driven in part by returning seasons of popular German series like Babylon Berlin and Barbarians.  The new record high demand for German content around the globe in November is due to the massive success of the new series from Netflix, 1899. The streamer is clearly trying to replicate the success of Dark with this new show from the same creators, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar. This series in particular appears to be engineered for global viewers - it is a multilingual production with 11 different languages. 

There has been surprisingly strong demand for 1899 since it premiered on November 17th. It registered an impressive 31 times the average series demand globally in November. Despite having concluded in 2020, demand for Dark has held up very well over time. While 1899 managed to surpass demand for Dark in the month of its premiere, it will be much harder to match the longevity of the show which has held up so well two years after concluding.


Looking at the most in-demand German series globally, it is clear that Netflix has played a key role in popularizing these series with audiences around the world.  Four of the five most in-demand German series globally are Netflix originals. Babylon Berlin, while not a Netflix original, is distributed exclusively by Netflix in the US and other international markets, which has exposed global audiences to the show.  These top 5 series are in a class of their own with more than twice the demand of the sixth ranked German series, Das Boot.

Demand for 1899's premiere is currently well ahead of both the first and second season premieres of Dark and also leads other German series premieres like Barbarians. However, the massive global demand for the third and final season of Dark still represents a high bar yet to be topped by another German series.

Season 1 of Dark took eight days to reach its peak global demand (26.14x). Contrast that with 1899 which hit a peak of 75.7x the demand of the average series globally in half the time, four days. Season 3 of Dark was when the show really took off with audiences around the globe.  It hit 139.7x demand two days after premiering on June 27th 2020.


1899 has been more successful in winning global audiences over in its first season compared to Dark. However, if the goal was to match the success of the final season of Dark and convert those viewers into fans of the new series, there is still work to be done. One similarity between both shows is the slow build-up as the central mystery is revealed.  This could indicate that, like Dark, 1899 still needs time to reach its full potential.

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