Image: The Witcher, Netflix
In the final full week of 2019, the USA has a new most demanded series. Despite leaving critics baffled, Netflix’s The Witcher is a hit with American audiences. The show, an adaptation of a series of Polish fantasy novels, was released at the end of last week on December 20th. As we predicted last week, this end of week release gave demand for The Witcher plenty of room to grow. However, the show did not simply grow in demand, it exploded: content demand for The Witcher is a huge 3.6 times (361%) larger than last week.
Last week’s most demanded series, Disney+’s The Mandalorian saw a minor demand increase due to the season finale on Dec 27th. The Star Wars show ends the year ranked third, as it was overtaken by a surging Saturday Night Live, which rose 13.1% to reach second.
As there was no new Saturday Night Live episode on December 28th, the high content demand for the NBC comedy is related to the Eddie Murphy-hosted episode that aired late last week on December 21st. In fact, SNL was the most demanded title for the first three days of this week. It also had the highest daily demand peak for any show, with 157 million Demand Expressions. That occurred on Monday, leading us to speculate it was the topic of many workplace conversations that day!
The remainder of the US overall top ten is largely static with mostly small changes in rank. Comedy Central’s South Park did re-enter the top ten after dipping to 11th last week. We expect competition will be fiercer when shows come off hiatus in January.
In the US digital original chart, the arrival of The Witcher leaves The Mandalorian in second place. It will be interesting to see the long-term effect of the different release strategies of these two big shows from Disney+ and Netflix. While The Mandalorian did have its finale week eclipsed by The Witcher, episodes are released weekly. This has helped The Mandalorian to sustain very high content demand over the eight weeks since it launched. With fans able to watch every episode of The Witcher on release day if they choose, will it manage to average over 100 million Demand Expressions two months after release like the episodic Disney+ show has?
One example in The Witcher’s favor is Netflix stablemate Stranger Things. The sci-fi series is still the third most demanded digital original in the US, some five months after the last season was released. Clearly long lasting all-at-once release shows are possible, although Stranger Things has the considerable advantage of three very popular seasons to its name.
Two other shows had strong gains in the digital original chart this week. Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told gained 25% week-on-week to reach ninth place this week. The increase is due to the show’s first season finale on Dec 27th. Netflix’s You also performed strongly, gaining 44% more content demand in the United States. The drama ranks 7th this week after S2 released in its entirety on Dec 26th.
That concludes 2019’s US weekly demand charts! We will return next week with the first charts of 2020, but until then do check out our Title Insights pages which give free, up-to-date metrics on thousands of series in the US and beyond!
Thank you for reading and have a happy New Year from the team at Parrot Analytics!