Image: You, Netflix
We are starting 2020 with a possible glimpse into the future of television. Of the ten most demanded series by US audiences this week, four are digital originals: Disney+’s The Mandalorian and Netflix’s The Witcher, You and Stranger Things. Over 2018 & 2019, we have moved from digital original series being rare appearances to them regularly topping the overall US chart. We expect that trend to continue and the digital original and overall charts to have fewer differences in 2020.
Moving to individual shows, our first series to be America’s most wanted television show in 2020 is The Mandalorian from Disney+. Demand for the sci-fi western rose 23% compared to last week. The increase is due to this being the first full week since the series finale on 27th December. Additionally, showrunner Jon Favreau confirmed this week that Season 2 of The Mandalorian will arrive in late 2020.
This week’s second most wanted television series is last week’s top title, Netflix’s The Witcher. The fantasy drama just eclipsed The Mandorian last week to become the 2019’s final show to attain ‘US’s most demanded television series’ status. However, a small 4% uptick in demand for The Witcher this week wasn’t enough to prevent a finale-powered The Mandolorian surging past.
This leaves the top non-digital original series this week as Steven Universe. The Cartoon Network show is this week’s 3rd most wanted television series, with just shy of 100 million Demand Expressions.
Frequent chart visitor My Hero Academia returns this week ranked 9th. Season 4 of the anime is currently airing on Adult Swim. Audiences may also have increased interest in the My Hero Academia franchise due to a recently released feature-length animation.
By far the highest rising show in the digital original chart is Netflix’s psychological thriller You. This week You is ranked 3rd by US demand, after placing 7th last week. Demand nearly tripled following the release of Season 2 on the 26th December.
Another rising show is Hulu’s Letterkenny. Demand is rising after Season 8 was released on 25th December and is 31% higher than last week. As a result the Canadian-set comedy is ranked 9th this week, up from 16th last week.
As with the overall chart, we can see some possible futures in the digital original chart. On one hand, we have the diverse set of services that feature in the top ten. Including new platforms Disney+ and Apple TV+, six different services have highly demanded originals this week. This diversity has been increasing over 2019 and shows the increasing competition for the attention of American SVOD audiences.
However, on the other hand only a single platform can boast more than one original series in the Top Ten. In fact, fully half of the chart is Netflix originals. Despite the recently increased competition, Netflix is still a dominant force in streaming as we enter a new decade.