Can Netflix’s originals help it maintain its dominance?

21 April, 2023

We’ve shown how Netflix’s dependence on licensed content is a competitive risk for the streamer in today’s heated battle between platforms for audience attention. In the US, seven of the ten most in-demand shows available on Netflix in Q1 2023 were licensed. The recently announced Max platform, formed by merging the HBO Max and Discovery+ catalogs, would have had more demand for all of its on-platform content than Netflix in Q1 2023. Historically, Netflix has held onto a lead over Hulu and HBO Max in this measure, but going forward it will have to play catch up to Max.  

To counteract this trend, Netflix needs to step up its investment in original content. This is a tall order however and our data shows how the pace of growth in demand for Netflix’s originals has lagged its rivals. Competitors growing their originals slate at a faster rate means that Netflix’s global share of demand for streaming originals hit another record low of 37.9% in Q1 2023. This is down from 55.7% in Q1 2020, when most of its current competitors either launched or were in their infancy.


Having highly in-demand original content will be particularly important as the company cracks down on password sharing and needs to justify its value to potential new subscribers who were previously unwilling to pay. A look at the most in-demand Netflix originals in Q1 points to the opportunities and risks in Netflix’s slate of originals.

Global demand for Wednesday has held up well since it premiered in November last year. It still had nearly 50 times the average series demand in Q1 2023, which points to the potential for future seasons of this show to be a flagship Netflix offering.


Demand for The Witcher got a boost from the release of a prequel miniseries Witcher: Blood Origin at the end of December. With a new season scheduled for this year, The Witcher will continue to draw audiences to Netflix. This example also points to Netflix investing in franchise extensions that raise demand for the entire franchise.

Netflix is capitalizing on growing global demand for anime content with its investments in original anime like Alice in Borderland. The show had 36.81 times the average series demand for the quarter.

The number of concluded or cancelled series among the top ten Netflix originals presents a potential risk for the platform. Money Heist and Lucifer both ended in 2021. Warrior Nun was cancelled at the end of last year, sparking fan outrage.  The final season of The Crown is expected this year. The streamer’s slate of originals is ready for a refresh - will it find its next Wednesday soon enough?

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