Looking back on 2020, one Netflix show’s cancellation stands out as unexpected and perhaps untimely. While season four of The Crown has proven to be a hit, Netflix cancelled the queens of the rings, GLOW’s fourth season, surprising many.
What does the demand data have to say about this cancellation?
What does the cancellation of GLOW and shows like it reveal for shows with undecided fates?
And, in its wake, what opportunity is left behind for other networks?
Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed
We can gain insight into the decision by comparing the season over season global demand of recent cancellations to the The Crown’s season 3 demand.
Both shows were undoubted successes domestically. But, it is likely that Netflix’s strategy focuses on global subscribers, given it has the most room for growth internationally.
Worldwide, we can see how GLOW’s demand pales in comparison to a show like The Crown. Despite growing its demand from its second to third season, its season three (S3) only captured 22% of the demand of The Crown’s S3.
While it was also ultimately cancelled, Ozark was given a coveted fourth season likely because its third season was able to cultivate 80% of the demand of The Crown’s 3rd season.
Thus, the demand data supports Netflix’s answers to outraged audiences: closed mouths don’t get fed. They follow the audience, if audiences don’t show up and speak up, then Netflix moves on.
Volume > Precision
On My Block and Team Kaylie are two comedies with great teen followings which are yet to be renewed or cancelled for their fourth season.
Examining their demand worldwide, On My Block is a “Good” show having demand that only 8.6% of all shows generate, while Team Kaylie is performing on par with the average show in Q4 2020.
The shows both perform better domestically in the US market. Examining their demand around release in comparison to GLOW and The Crown, a volume-only view suggests On My Block is more likely to get renewed for a fourth season.
Yet, there is another perspective to consider: appeal and targeting of audiences. When we look at the audiences of GLOW and their preferences for other Netflix shows as compared to The Crown, On My Block or Team Kaylie, we get a better sense of "fit" with the target platform.
For GLOW, 6 of the top shows its audiences prefer are from Netflix. The Crown and On My Block are both similarly positioned with 6 of their audiences' top shows on Netflix, while Team Kaylie only has 3. The larger an audience a show shares with Netflix, the more likely a show allows Netflix to build and maintain a subscriber base. It appears that when catalog appeal is equivalent, volume certainly wins.
Thus far, this suggests that On My Block is more likely to make the cut for renewal.
However, the two shows On My Block and Team Kaylie also differ in the preferences of their audiences. On My Block's audience has a clearer preference for action, crime, and teenage shows while Team Kaylie’s audience appears to have a greater range of preference including romance, teenage content, mystery, paranormal, and crime content. The need for either type of audience may be the reason the jury is still out on whether these shows will get a fourth season.
Where Will You GLOW Next?
The future of GLOW might reveal potential paths for the future of other Netflix cancellations.
Is there a market most likely to demand a fourth season for which it may be valuable to produce?
If so, which network or streamer has incentive produce season 4?
Examining GLOW's season 3 release, the top market demanding GLOW was Germany. In fact, the show was 14% more in-demand in Germany than domestically in the US.
Furthermore, Dark Netflix’s German original, is one of the top 10 shows that are also preferred by GLOW audiences. This is along side Killing Eve, Cursed and The Crown - all UK shows. This is an interesting find given the show's focus on the US and natural appeal to American audiences.
Based on the top 10, favorite series of GLOW audiences, potential homes well-suited to take on the show include BBC, AMC, or AppleTV+.
This article provides insights based on a small subset of data, but reveals how demand data can be used to examine cancellations in today’s streaming wars.