An Investigation of the Global Reach of European Digital Originals

14 December, 2017

Parrot Analytics has long been advocating for SVOD services around the world to think ‘Glocal’; to create local content that has global appeal. This year, it seems that activity in this regard has intensified. Amazon, for example, has hired a director responsible for European original content, while Netflix has ordered a slew of European shows including, most recently, a second Italian digital original.

While all the existing European digital originals have been successful in their home countries, have any of them managed to also achieve that success outside the local stage and become truly ‘Glocal’ hits? Parrot Analytics takes a closer look, beginning with Netflix’s first French original series, the political drama Marseille.

To determine how well Marseille has performed outside of its home market of France, Parrot Analytics has come up with their ‘travelability’ measure. This measure is the average demand for the show in each international country, expressed as a percentage of the home country’s demand. For this study, the average taken is for the most recent 3-month period.

For example, the travelability of Marseille to Belgium is 57%, which simply means that the average demand for Marseille in Belgium is 57% of the average demand for Marseille in the show’s origin country, France.

Belgium’s travelability of 57% means it is the country with the highest travelability for Marseille. Two other countries also have over 40% of the French demand: Senegal and Luxembourg with 56% and 49% respectively. All three of these countries have a French-speaking majority, so it’s not a surprise that these are where Marseille performs best. The next highest country, Canada with 34% also has a significant French-speaking population.

The success of Marseille in countries that neighbor France mean that Europe is the region where the show performs best. Five European countries are in the highest travelability list, joined by one country each from Africa, North America and the Middle East.

To truly assess how Marseille performs globally, we must compare shows’ global average demand to the global average for all French content. Unfortunately for Netflix, Marseille only has 74% of the international demand that the average French title has and so is not a global success.

Next, the same analysis was performed on the Amazon Video digital original thriller You Are Wanted, which comes from Germany.

Immediately, there is an interesting result: You Are Wanted is one of the rare titles where the highest demand is not from the show’s home country. In this case the highest demand is from Austria, which has 54% more demand than Germany does. Additionally, at 97% Swiss demand for the show is almost as high as German demand; You Are Wanted has travelled exceptionally well to the German-speaking countries.

Regionally, the highest travelability shows for You Are Wanted are mostly European. Five countries are in Europe (including Russia), two are in the Middle East and two are in Asia.

The global travelability for You Are Wanted is 11.7%, which is the highest in this study. The show performs best against the origin country average as well, compared to the average German title, You Are Wanted has 54% more international demand. This qualifies it as a truly ‘Glocal’ title that has strong appeal outside of Germany!

Our third and final European digital original is Netflix’s Spanish period drama Las Chicas Del Cable.

While it is not the only reason for a show performing well internationally, a reliable predictor of travelability is shared language. As such, you may have already surmised that the countries with the highest travelability for a Spanish show would be in Latin America and this is indeed correct.

However, even within a region with a shared language, Las Chicas Del Cable has different levels of travelability. The show resonated best with Argentinian audiences, where it has a travelability of 30%. By contrast, in Mexico Las Chicas Del Cable has a travelability of 23% which is a quarter less demand than Argentina.

Finally, the comparison to the average Spanish show reveals this title over-performs internationally; Las Chicas Del Cable has 44% more global demand than the Spanish content average. This is also a ‘Glocal’ title that performs well both domestically and internationally!

While this study contains some excellent examples of ‘Glocal’ content, we note that none of these European shows have anywhere near the global appeal of a typical US hit. However, with increasing investment in local content by SVODs, Parrot Analytics is confident that a ‘Glocal’ smash hit is inevitable.

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