Digital Original Genre Opportunities

10 February, 2021

Digital original content is a key part of a streaming platform’s strategy, driving signups and keeping subscribers around for more. Here we compare the make-up of Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime’s digital original catalogs. This gives insight into the rivals’ differing strategies. We juxtapose their share of titles by genre with the share of demand each genre generates to get a sense of whether a streamer’s investments in an area are actually leading to more demand. Finally, we look at their originals’ share of market demand to see which areas are saturated and which have opportunity to grow.


The first takeaway from the above chart is that the drama genre accounts for the largest number of original titles as well as demand. Each platform’s original dramas account for a larger share of demand than their share of titles suggesting that audiences still want more of this type of content.

Comedy accounts for the second largest number of titles for each streamer. However, the share of demand generated by these comedy originals is smaller than their supply. The takeaway is that comedies are less effective at driving demand.

Hulu’s catalog of originals is more heavily skewed toward the largest genres, drama and comedy, than the other platforms. The flip side of this is that it has a much lower share of documentary and children’s digital originals than either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. This could be benefitting Hulu. Amazon and Netflix’s documentary and children’s originals significantly underperform. For example, 18% of Amazon’s original catalog is documentary series but this only accounts for a 2% share of demand.

Original series in the action/adventure genre punch above their weight. For each streamer, this genre accounts for a larger share of demand than its share of titles. In particular, Amazon’s originals strongly over-index here. The platform’s 4.3% of titles drive over 20% of demand. Some of Amazon’s most successful series, such as The Boys and Hanna are action/adventure shows.

Horror is one of the smaller genres but seems to be a point of differentiation for Hulu originals. This genre’s share of Hulu digital originals is more than twice the size of other platforms. And, Hulu is the only platform whose horror digital originals account for a larger share of demand than supply.

horror saturation chart.png

Looking at these platform originals’ supply and demand as a share of an entire genre as opposed to each platform’s own catalog gives a sense of which genres are over- or under-saturated. Below we plot each platform’s drama originals’ share of titles against their share of demand. We can see that dramas perform well for each platform. Netflix is especially dominant here. Its original dramas account for 5.3% of drama titles. These 5.3% of titles accounted for 10.8% of demand for dramas. Netflix original dramas are exceptionally in-demand.

Drama saturation chart.png

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