Want an in-depth look at Netflix’s 2020? I mean a couple of thousand words on everything from their stock price to subscriber growth to their biggest content to executive moves? And what it all means?
Well, check out my latest at Whats-On-Netflix, “Netflix’s 2020 Year in Review: Biggest Hits & Business Insights“
Ah for the olden days of evaluating content. In 2019, if you wanted to know, “What was the most popular film?” You just looked at the box office and saw that the answer was (very clearly) Avengers: Endgame. Even TV was relatively simple: Game of Thrones set global records for its entire final season.
(Though you could argue Stranger Things was close. But hey that complicates my narrative!)
In 2020, no simple measures will suffice. Box office disappeared in a cloud of Covid. And reliable linear TV ratings continue to sink. Meanwhile, streaming uses a bewildering array of metrics so we don’t really know what means what.
Which left it for me to figure it all out. Now that 2020 is over, I collected as many data points as I could, put on my former streaming executive hat, and tried to figure out what was the most popular film and TV show in 2020.
Check out both articles and let me know what you think. Did I get the winners right?
In what is now a recurring column, over at Decider I took a look at all the ratings data I could find to declare the streaming winner in the US for November. This one is packed with with charts, tables and data.
(If you’re curious for the older editions, here’s September and July.)
Also, I discuss the latest Nielsen streaming data in this thread:
It’s fascinating that between now and essentially March, Universal will be the only studio releasing films to theaters. And it’s able to do so because of its big “PVOD after three weeks” strategy it announced with AMC Theaters (and since others) in March.
The first film under this new partnership debuted two weeks back, Freaky, and The Croods 2 debuts today in whatever theaters are open in America. So what do I think? Check out Decider to find out.
In lieu of a big article this week—I was a pinch busy on some other projects and I’m also digging through a lot of viewership data from Nielsen—I wanted to shout out two guest articles that I never linked to on this website.
– First, I wrote about Netflix’s viewership over the summer at What’s On Netflix. I also continue to think Netflix is leaving “awareness” on the table by not releasing one series per quarter as a weekly series.
– Second, I wrote my extended thoughts on Quibi’s demise in this obituary for Decider. As always, the key art is tremendous at Decider.
It’s fairly clear Netflix is cancelling more shows sooner than they have in year’s past. The latest victim is the space epic Away. This move is more than a streamer cancelling an expensive show that underperformed, it shows that Netflix is embracing (some) cost discipline as it enters its third decade.
Read about that at Decider. This one is short, but it packs in a lot of biz thoughts.
Well, I promised you takes on AMC Theaters and Comcast’s big new deal to launch feature films on “Premium Video on Demand” 17 days after release, and it’s finally up at Decider. What does that mean for theaters? Studios? And Streamer?
I explain in my latest along with some explanation for why this deal got completed.
July was a big month for straight-to-streaming films. With theaters still shut down in the United States (and in large parts of the world) streaming is where the action is.
A couple of weeks back, I started dabbling with Google Trends to look at the big streaming movies in July for my weekly column. One thing led to another…and I ended up writing nearly 2,000 words on it.
I pitched it to Decider and they just published it. So if you want to know:
– What was the most popular film globally in July on streaming…
– Or how well Hulu and Apple TV+ stacked up against Netflix…
– Or how well Netflix’s action films are doing…
– And who–if anyone–is making money on these films?
Then check out my latest. I give winners and losers and talk about what we can divine of the economics in this one.
And the winners—specifically how much they won by—may shock you.
Cut for Room Thought: Since Tenet is Delayed…
…should Warner Bros put it straight to HBO Max?
That’s essentially the question I’ve been asking in my long series, “Should your film go straight to Netflix?”. We’re in very different times than 2019, where I would have said no way. 80% of me still says, “No way.” (And it sounds like Warner Media agrees, based on their earnings call.) Potentially grossing a billion dollars at the box office is worth the risks. And then the film will be on HBO/HBO Max anyways.
…HBO Max needs something. They’re losing the Harry Potter films in August! The new Game of Thrones series is delayed for who knows how long. Is it worth taking a hit on Tenet to drive new subscribers to HBO Max in the US? 20% of me could see that argument.
If you’re up for some more Netflix data, I got you covered over at Whats-On-Netflix.com. I essentially wrote up this long Twitter thread…
…into a full-blown article for them. I added a section as well on genre films to show how dominate action films have been. Check it out.
If you don’t follow me on social or subscribe to my newsletter, you may have missed my latest guest article at The Ankler (behind a paywall). It’s a short one, but a goody.
In it I compared Netflix’s recent Hard R action films, and their “datecdotes”, to Netflix’s other big swings, like Bird Box and The Irishman. It’s behind The Ankler’s paywall, but worth it to find out about my provocative title. Not to step on the toes, but I don’t see how $15 a month streaming will ever make $200 million production budget feature films profitable. And this has ramifications for superhero, sci-fi and even animated films. Even if you don’t buy that thesis, it has a good comparison of all their films recent performance.
Check it out!