Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my friends, colleagues, clients, subscribers, readers, contributors and more! I’ve really enjoyed this year, using my industry knowledge and contacts to provide you with valuable information and context through my weekly newsletter, regular ‘pod-versations’ with experts, producing panels at major industry events like MIPDoc, and consultations with producers, platforms, nonprofits …


Are U.S. Cable Channels Heading Over a Cliff? An audience snapshot at the end of the ‘Teens

Are Netflix and the streamers killing the channels’ business? And thus are opportunities shrinking for producers at the end of the ’20-teens’? Sample – 12 Factual Channels: For my presentation to the upcoming New York State Bar Association annual conference, Nielsen aggregated the Primetime audience for 12 channels that focus on Factual programs. They are: …

Steve Burns, veteran programming executive reflects on the changing documentary landscape. Podcast

STEVE BURNS has enjoyed senior management roles at Nat Geo, Discovery Networks and CuriosityStream. Our podcast topic: HOW THE DOCUMENTARY LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED SINCE THE ‘EIGHTIES. First, Steve shares his shock and loss on hearing that Sunny Side’s Yves Jeanneau had passed away. We discuss the rise of big budget international co-productions, “Occu-soaps”, character-led Reality, and …

Ken Burns’ COUNTRY MUSIC triples PBS’s prime time average

The audience for COUNTRY MUSIC extends Ken Burns‘ run as the high-performing PBS documentarian. The average audience over 8 episodes was 4.42 million. That’s more that 3x the PBS average for prime (1.24 million). And slightly higher than the average for the VIETNAM series (4.38 million). COUNTRY MUSIC maintained its audience, even returning to peak …

NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES, GERMANY : Formula 1 leads the Top 20 Originals in 2019 from Parrot Analytics. Compare Demand for Documentaries with Scripted Originals like Black Mirror

This post covers the online demand for Netflix Original Documentaries in Germany. I also compare the demand for Netflix documentaries with the streamer’s Scripted Original hits like Black Mirror. Measuring Audience Demand: The data is provided by research firm Parrot Analytics which measures online audience demand for programs across all platforms. Today’s post continues my series on Netflix’s …

NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES USA: The Top 20 Originals in 2019 from Parrot Analytics. Plus: ‘Stranger Things’ vs David Attenborough’s ‘Our Planet’

Netflix famously keeps its audience data a deep secret. We lack even high-level measures of its documentary viewing, much less the detailed demographics from the likes of Nielsen and BARB that drive the broadcast and Cab/Sat sectors. That’s a problem for the Unscripted / Documentary eco-system. Producers, schedulers and their funders are shooting in the …