Clearly the trend of streamers naming themselves with a '+' or 'Max' is paying off! In all seriousness though, some interesting insights emerge when we look at the average demand for original series from each platform.
It was a surprise that Disney+ did not top this chart, particularly for Q2 2021 when the platform’s tentpole focused strategy really kicked into high gear with several high profile Marvel series launching. This is a reminder though that Disney+ has over 40 original series now so their catalog of originals is not only the headline dominating blockbusters, but a fuller catalog of series that do not necessarily attract the same amount of attention.
This result also says something about the life cycle of streaming services, which grow their catalog as they mature - ideally growing the total amount of demand for their content but sacrificing the average demand for their originals as more series are added that target niche viewers. For an in depth look at SVOD life cycle stages and strategies for success at each point read more here.
Looking at the total share of demand they account for (below) provides an interesting point of comparison to the average demand for each platform’s originals. There is a near reversal of the relative rankings of Netflix and Paramount+. While originals from the latter average the highest demand of these platforms, in aggregate demand for Paramount+ originals accounts for the smallest share of demand of these platforms. Meanwhile, Netflix originals account for by far the largest share of demand, but the average demand for these shows is only 2x the average series demand - near the bottom of the ranking.
It is not simply the case that the longer a platform has been around, the more diluted demand for its originals becomes. Recall that Paramount+ has been in existence (albeit as CBS All Access) since 2014. Despite this, it has maintained the highest average demand for its originals. This is helped by two features of the Paramount+ original catalog. The average demand is substantially boosted by multiple hugely popular Star Trek series that are Paramount+ originals, showing the value of a globally beloved franchise like this. Secondly, the number of original series Paramount+ has is significantly smaller than most of the platforms in this analysis. It has around half the number of original titles of even Apple TV+, a much newer platform. Paramount+ is clearly focused on quality over quantity.
At the bottom of the ranking by average original demand are Netflix and Amazon, with 2.0x and 1.5x the average series demand respectively. This shows that adding more original series does not inevitably dilute your average original demand. Yes, Amazon and Netflix have the greatest number of original series and the largest shares of demand for their original content. But despite Netflix having several times as many original series as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix still has a greater average original demand.
It is worth noting that Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are major global players in the streaming wars, each producing original content specific to individual markets. While these series may be successful in their target markets, it is harder for this content to find success outside of their intended local market, potentially pulling down a platform’s average demand for its originals as it adds more market specific content. Netflix has clearly cracked this code somewhat and turned local productions like La Casa de Papel (Spain) and Dark (Germany) into global hits with high demand outside of their home markets. Contrast this with Amazon Prime Video which, for example, has had great success in the Indian market with its originals, but has not necessarily translated this to high demand for these series in the US.