Parrot Analytics quantifies the attention economy to provide a 360 degree view into the fragmented TV ecosystem to identify the X-factor that leads to a show’s success. In this piece, we review the Netflix original, Love is Blind, to reveal insights into making the next hit-show.
Why is the success of Netflix's Love is Blind a Big Deal?
Whether or not love is truly blind, Love is Blind exemplifies the value of: 1) culturally-relevant concepts, 2) Netflix’s experimentation with release strategies, and 3) leveraging emerging opportunities.
Lesson 1: Use culturally relevant topics
In order to gain insights into the cultural, social, and psychological relevance of Love is Blind, Parrot Analytics teamed up with a clinical psychologist at one of the nation’s top public university health systems, Dr. Amanda Gorlick. Dr. Gorlick opened our conversation by stating that the Netflix shows draws upon, “human curiosity of the unlikely or unexpected.”
Specifically, Dr. Gorlick remarked that, “Th[e] premise of connecting under these circumstances [(in a pod or blindly within 10 days)] can be considered unlikely or unexpected, especially when contrasted to the widespread use of social media and dating apps where profile pictures, age or location, to name a few variables, could determine likability and whether a connection would be formed. Regardless of the specific circumstances, the fact that the individuals connected in the time they did was actually not unlikely nor unexpected.“
She further shared that psychological research reveals that humans are hardwired for connection. Dr. Gorlick reminds us to, “Imagine for a moment becoming more present and having awareness of our intentions, thought, body sensations, emotions, and five senses. Imagine maintaining focus on one thing at a time as best as we can. Although this practice can be challenging in our fast-paced worlds, it is worthwhile as it serves as the foundation for connecting to the present moment, to oneself, and to others.…[I]t is important to appreciate our immense capacity and need to connect. What if the focus was less on a particular outcome of connection, such as engagements and marriages, and more about noticing and stepping into the many opportunities to connect with others? You never know what you may find.”
Parrot Analytics’s data supports that Dr. Gorlick is not alone in her perspective. Romance realities, which largely center around this topic of connection, have grown increasingly more in-demand. Almost doubling (2x) their demand-share in the last two years.
Love is Blind therefore likely serves as a reflection of current cultural and societal interests. For more on Dr. Gorlick’s takeaways from Love is Blind, read here.
Lesson 2: Experiment with release strategy
Netflix broke from its traditional all-season release (i.e., binge model) and experimented with a hybrid of weekly releases for Love is Blind.
“In comparing Love is Blind to Netflix’s previous original romance reality show Dating Around, which was released all-season or for binge, we see the value Netflix is gaining from experimenting with release strategy”, says Dr. Nicole Zamanzadeh, Insights Analyst at Parrot Analytics.
Love is Blind had a higher daily average demand than Dating Around and it had a (1.2x) higher peak demand at its finale.
Chart 2 compares the Season 1 premieres of Netflix original romance reality shows: Love is Blind (2/13/2020) and Dating Around (2/14/2019).
In addition to the cultural relevance, the weekly release schedule of Love is Blind plays a role in its success. Just seven days (one week) following premiere, demand for Love is Blind continues to grow while demand for Dating Around begins rapidly tapering off.
Love is Blind not only had a higher daily average and peak demand, but also held audiences’ attention for a longer time, which makes it not only more likely to draw in subscribers but also to retain audiences on the platform.
For more on release strategies, see our series.
Lesson 3: Leverage emerging opportunities
Netflix’s choice to begin 2020 with two new reality debuts reveals the value of leveraging a whitespace to make hit shows. Parrot Analytics has identified that among digital originals reality shows were under-saturated while they were over-saturated when including linear TV.
Dr. Nicole Zamanzadeh continues to state, “Comparing Netflix originals with other debuts in 2020, our data evidences the value of finding and leveraging these opportunities for digital originals.”
The two Netflix debuts, Love is Blind and The Circle, are not only at least five times (5X) more in-demand than the average series in the US, but also, they have been outperforming most reality new debuts in 2020, thus far.
Chart 3 reveals that digital original reality series are generally performing well. Note, Netflix is not alone. Netflix as well as Youtube, and Disney+ all have at least one show in the top seven most in-demand new reality series so far this year.
These results show that OTT platforms can find and leverage whitespaces for digital originals where linear TV sees over-saturation.