Covid-19 Demand Impact Report: Italy

7 April, 2020

A Parrot Quick Insight

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought enormous disruption to the global economy. The impacts to the entertainment industry can be seen on both the supply and demand side. In many cases content production has been disrupted or halted altogether; while on the other side of the equation audiences are now isolated indoors and seeking out new content to fill their time. In this report we hope to provide some insight into how this unprecedented global crisis is affecting demand for content in Italy.

On March 9 the Prime minister of Italy announced that the entire country was on lockdown. This followed the earlier regional lockdown in Lombardy. In the chart below we show the sub-genres that saw the greatest change (both positive and negative) following the announcement of these measures:


Two talk show genres are among the largest decliners in this period. Many shows in this genre have had production impacted by the pandemic. Shows such as The Ellen Degeneres Show have suspended production entirely while others such as the Late Show with Stephen Colbert have embraced filming from home. The medical drama genre also saw one of the largest drops in demand following the lockdown in Italy. Perhaps this genre is less appealing with an ongoing and all too real medical drama happening in the real world.

The thriller genre is up the most in Italy since the start of the lockdown. Two shows in this category that are helping to drive its popularity in Italy are Elite and Little Fires Everywhere. Both shows had a season premiere in the two weeks following lockdown in Italy. Elite in particular is popular in this market. In the two weeks since lockdown Italy had the second highest demand per capita for this series after only the US.


We can also evaluate which platforms have seen the largest changes in demand for their digital originals. Demand for Hulu digital originals is up the most in Italy in the three weeks since March 11. The Handmaid's Tale is the most in-demand Hulu digital original in Italy currently, but Devs has quickly climbed to second place since being released in early March.

Demand for Apple TV+ digital originals in Italy is up by the second highest amount. This is potentially being driven by viewers seeking new content to fill their time. Apple TV+ is one of the newest platforms here, having launched in November 2019 with a catalog of new digital originals. It could be that audiences are now finally taking the opportunity to try it.

Demand for DC Universe digital originals is down by a wide margin, 31% lower since March 11. They have just released a new season of Harley Quinn, however, so a turnaround is likely imminent. Disney+'s digital original demand share is slightly down in this time. This is perhaps a surprising result as it coincides with the platform's launch in Europe on March 24. Disney+'s best opportunity to benefit from the situation would be to leverage its strength in children's content while schools are closed and children are at home.

For more information, check out the most up-to-date Italy television industry overview.

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