Insights

Is ‘Love Island’ ‘Too Hot To Handle’ for Netflix?

9 July, 2021

Too Hot to Handle is one of Netflix’s top trending titles in many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, but is it more popular than ITV’s Love Island, the series that originally inspired it? 

Demand data from the United Kingdom shows that while Too Hot to Handle maintains an impressive demand rate, coming in at 13x the average demand for a TV show in the UK, it doesn’t come close to Love Island. Love Island recently peaked at 40x the average demand for a TV show in the UK, as seen by data collected over the last three weeks. 

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The difference in demand between the shows is starker when placed in context with the rest of the market. Over the last 30 days to July 6th, Love Island is the single most in-demand reality series in the UK. Meanwhile, Too Hot To Handle is 61st in the genre.

However, while Netflix's romance reality offering hasn't resonated with UK audiences to the same degree that Love Island has, the demand data shows an interesting pattern. The new seasons for both Love Island and Too Hot to Handle premiered within a few days of each other, yet Love Island’s summer dominance hasn’t fully cannibalized the Too Hot to Handle audience. There was an uptick in demand for Too Hot to Handle as Love Island returned, suggesting that while there’s no question fans are seeking out and talking more frequently about Love Island’s messy dramatic affairs, there’s room for both. 

As Netflix expands its reality programming footprint, expanding into different forms of unscripted content, inspiration for series will come from what has worked on traditional broadcast networks. Executives at Netflix will ask themselves before localizing a reality series is how much bigger a series might be in a host country. The Circle started as a UK show, and was then developed into a US, Brazilian, and French version. With The Circle, while demand for the US version peaked at 3.7x the average demand for a TV show in the UK during its second season premiere in April, the British version retained about a 9x average demand during the same period. 

The data suggests that Netflix’s versions or takes on pre-existing British reality programming is being sought out, but it hasn’t replaced people’s desire for other original broadcast series. Instead, both exist alongside one another — and the return of a new series for a show like Love Island that dominates summer conversation can actually help Too Hot to Handle in the UK. 


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