Don’t sleep on the land Down Under: U.S demand for Australian content is on the rise

11 September, 2023

Image: Deadloch, Amazon Prime Video

Australian entertainment is having a bit of a moment. Bluey has become a favorite of children and parents around the world and has even led to American kids speaking with Australian accents; Australian Sarah Snook wrapped up her thrice-Emmy-nominated role as Shiv Roy in HBO’s final season of Succession; Neighbors, the long-running Australian soap opera that helped launch the careers of stars like Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue, and Chris Hemsworth, was given a second chance after being picked up by Amazon Freevee; and the biggest blockbuster of the year, Barbie, starred an Australian, Margot Robbie (though some might question her Aussie credentials after she momentarily forgot that “barbie” means something else entirely back home). In the short term Australia could be a source of imported content to help American platforms fill any gaps left by ongoing strikes. In the longer term,  American audiences might simply discover a new love of series from Down Under.


Children’s series from around the world have been successful in breaking into the US market and reaching levels of demand higher than many US series. But Bluey in particular has been steadily increasing in demand over the past few years as more American families fall in love with this Aussie import. For the past year Bluey has consistently had higher demand than Peppa Pig and in some months had even higher demand than Pokemon. Still, Bluey is just one example of a broader uptick in demand for Australian content in the US.  

While Bluey has been gradually building up its audience for years, a string of recent new series have helped drive demand for Australian content higher in the US. We can look at US demand for British series in the past few years as a point of comparison. The UK continues to be the largest source of imported English language content in the US and in the last three years the average demand for new British series in the US has been greater than American demand for new Australian series. That has not been the case so far this year. As of August, the average demand for new Australian series in the US is nearly double the average demand of British series that have premiered so far this year.


A few success stories over the past few months help to explain the strength of Aussie content so far this year. Three new Australian series have reached ten times the demand of the average series in the US since May. Leading the pack so far is Amazon Prime Video’s Deadloch which premiered in June. The Clearing, a Disney+ original thriller, available on Hulu in the US was released around the same time as Deadloch and had similar demand. Since August 5th, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, another Prime Video original, has had higher demand in the US than any other Australian series released this year. Bay of Fires (like Deadloch a black comedy crime drama set in Tasmania) has seen strong growth in its US demand since premiering on July 16th. However, it is not yet available to stream in the US, making it a potentially lucrative acquisition for any platform looking to capitalize on the current Australia mania.


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