Insights

Ted Lasso: Apple TV’s most travelable show

10 September, 2021

Apple Incorporated has a large and dedicated following that spans the globe - which could have been a big influence towards the increasing success of Apple TV+, released in early 2019. While its back catalogue may not be as extensive as its competitors, the streaming service has brought out a number of original shows that have been well received by viewers. This being said, the highest performing of all of these shows, by a considerable amount, is Ted Lasso. Released in August last year, the show has garnered an outstanding level of demand in a relatively short space of time and is currently the sixteenth most in-demand show worldwide. This article will look at just how travelable Ted Lasso has become in the time since its release, as well as the possible factors that led to its global success.

Worldwide Demand

Ted Lasso, now in its second season, is centered around the fictional English Premier League soccer team, AFC Richmond and their new American coach. Previously only coaching college football, Ted Lasso’s optimistic and genuinely caring personality is a stark contrast to others in and on the field. He was brought in as a means of sabotage by the team’s new owner, Rebecca Welton, who wants revenge on the team’s previous owner - her ex-husband. This makes for some dramatic conflict balanced with timely humor and heartwarming moments as the characters all learn to work together.  The underdog storyline, talented cast, and relatable characters are all factors that led to Ted Lasso becoming a word-of-mouth hit - one that has reached just about all corners of the globe.

The chart below shows how the Apple TV+ original fares in worldwide demand in comparison to other shows over the past 30 days. It currently has 44.3 times more demand than the average show worldwide, which is an exceptional level. This could be due to the popularity of the show’s first season as well as the current airing of its second season.

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United States

The show is the tenth most in demand show in the United States. The chart below shows that it has 37.8 times more demand than the average show nationally.

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One interesting theory for why Ted Lasso performed so well in the US suggested that it was a breath of fresh air to the audience in the midst of many ‘anti-hero’ centered shows. Looking at the other shows on the chart below, Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead, and Titans, which all involve darker themes with tortured anti-heroes, Ted Lasso instead brings a lead who is unambiguously kind and optimistic.

Another possible reason for the show’s success in the US could be the current therapy-centered culture. In the show, Ted is often seen to model certain traits seen in that of a therapist - empathy, congruency, and a non-judgmental, accepting stance towards the other characters. A culturally-based love for the main character could have been an influence for why the show is so well-liked overall. Moreover, with the show being released in the pandemic, this caring and optimistic character could perhaps have brought a therapeutic experience to a nation living a dark reality.

United Kingdom

Another country where Ted Lasso has a high level of demand is the United Kingdom. Similar to the United States, the Apple TV+ Original is the tenth most in demand show in the UK. The graph below shows that there is 24.4 times more national demand for Ted Lasso than the average show.

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Due to the 2020 pandemic, the English Premier League was postponed for the longest amount of time since the second world war. As a nation that is passionate about the sport, this would likely have been devastating news to many. Ted Lasso, having been released in the same year, could have had a higher amount of initial popularity there due to it being a football-related show in a time where many missed the sport.

Momentum and Travelability

Ted Lasso has exceptional worldwide levels of both travelability - which refers to the popularity of a show outside of its home market, and momentum - which refers to growth in demand over the past 12 months. The chart below indicates just how well this show is performing in these areas.

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With 50.8 times more momentum than the average show worldwide, Ted Lasso has clearly gained a lot of demand in its first year on screen. What might have influenced this high level and speed of growth over a relatively short time could be the show’s appeal to those outside of its home market. This is evident in the show’s travelability - 38.5 times more than the average show worldwide.

The dedication and global span of Apple’s fanbase and franchisability could have been an initial factor in the Apple Original’s popularity. For instance, it wouldn’t have been all that difficult of a task for the brand to include an Apple TV+ deal with purchase of other merchandise. However, the concept of the show alone could have been one major reason for Ted Lasso’s worldwide interest. The show depicts culture from both the United States and Great Britain, which brings a balance between familiarity and new discovery for viewers in both countries. In addition to this, soccer is a globally popular sport, which would definitely be why it piqued the interest of viewers in other nations as well. The graph below depicts this, showing an outstanding level of demand across the world.

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Apple TV+ Originals

By comparison to other original shows on the Apple TV+ streaming service, which still fare relatively well, Ted Lasso is doing exceptionally. Perhaps this is due to the unique style of the show. Its unconventional concept is both a fan and critic favorite, with an over 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The chart below depicts the worldwide demand for original Apple TV+ shows. Ted Lasso has 44.5 times more demand than the average show, more than double the level of demand for the other original shows on the service - apart from See, which has 25.1 times more demand than the average show.

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One important point to note when looking at current demand levels for Apple TV original shows is that many have only released their first season, or are in the midst of their second season. This is because the Apple TV+ streaming service is very new to the market. With this factor considered, the outstanding level of demand for many of its programs is quite an amazing feat. Furthermore, while Ted Lasso is leaps an bounds ahead of the service’s other shows in terms of current demand, this could prove to be temporary.


The chart below shows the demand for the first season of Ted Lasso, released in early 2020, by comparison to other original Apple TV+ programs, Schmigadoon! and Mr. Corman, which were released this year. The demand during the initial release of the latter shows is significantly higher than that of Ted Lasso. This likely indicates that there has been a notable increase in the Apple TV+ customer base since the release of Ted Lasso.

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Conclusion

The existence of a solid fanbase for the Apple brand could likely have been a great help towards Apple TV+ getting a foot into the present streaming war. However, the global word-of-mouth generated by Ted Lasso might also have had something to do it - and many of the service’s original shows in the future, too.

All in all, the optimistic, even therapeutic, coach Ted is somehow astronomically popular in the midst of television’s current zeitgeist - stories of the anti-hero. What’s more, the show is on a streaming service that doesn’t overwhelm viewers with choice. Perhaps point-of-difference could be what is driving the success of both Ted Lasso and Apple TV+ itself.

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