Star Trek Premieres: Comparing Picard and Discovery

2 March, 2020

A Parrot Quick Insight


Star Trek: Picard premiered on January 23rd, 2020 on CBS All Access.  To evaluate the success of its launch we can compare it side by side with Star Trek: Discovery at the time of its launch.  In the time shift series above we can see that six episodes into Picard’s first season (green), it is not registering as high a level of demand int he US that Discovery attained (red).  In particular, the clear post-episode spikes in demand for Star Trek: Discovery are absent in Picard.

One important note when comparing these premieres is a slight difference in their release strategy.  Discovery premiered on September 24, 2017 with two episodes on launch day, while Picard has followed the traditional one episode per week schedule.  This helps explain the large post-premiere jump in demand for Star Trek: Discovery and has a more general learning - launching with more than one episode can help make a premiere successful by boosting initial demand for a series.  

Another factor that may explain Star Trek: Discovery’s relatively more successful launch is that it was the first series in the Star Trek franchise since the conclusion of Star Trek: Enterprise in 2005.  This means it likely benefited from long pent up demand from Star trek fans as well as an absence of other Star Trek series to compete for fans’ attention.

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