Growing demand for Adult Animation

7 December, 2023

Image: Arcane, Netflix

Adult animation was one of the few genres to thrive during the challenging times of the pandemic and Hollywood labor strikes over the past four years. The demand for this subgenre - defined as animated programming catered towards adults and adolescents, and discounting anime - surged by 151.6% in the United States from January 2020 to October 2023.  Parrot Analytics demand data allows us to better understand this trend and answer the question of whether it was driven by an increase in the number of series available.


Interestingly, the increase in demand for adult animation in the U.S. was threefold compared to the growth in its supply, which was 51.2% during the same period. This indicates a significant rise in audience interest for this specific programming, which is often more cost-effective to produce. This aspect is particularly relevant as production budgets across the industry face greater scrutiny.

In terms of platforms, Max and Hulu have emerged as leaders in offering adult animation shows. Max, leveraging its access to Adult Swim, offers popular shows like Rick and MortyThe Venture Bros., and Robot Chicken. Meanwhile, Hulu's Animayhem” hub features renowned titles like The SimpsonsFuturama, and Family Guy. These platforms have capitalized on the growing demand for adult animation content. Given the typical length of these series, platforms benefit from the shows' ability to maintain subscriber interest and engagement over the long term.

Netflix also boasts a significant collection of adult animation. While its catalog may not be as impactful as those of Max and Hulu, it is distinguished by its popular original series. Notable among these are BoJack HorsemanArcane, and Love, Death + Robots, which contribute to the platform's appeal in this genre. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is placed below most of the main SVOD platforms when it comes to demand for adult animations, despite the release of successful adult animations such as Invincible.


Adult animated series hold a unique appeal for streaming platforms due to their ability to specifically engage with a certain segment of the audience. This genre predominantly attracts a younger, male-skewing demographic, setting it apart from categories like drama and comedy which have a broader appeal. While sports and Western shows also have a more male-centric audience, they tend to appeal more to an older demographic, in contrast to the younger audience that gravitates towards adult animation.


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