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 …

Chasing Netflix: The Keys to Success & Failure for New Online Video Services

Why do Netflix-type Subscription Video On Demand / Over-The-Top (SVOD/OTT) services succeed? Or fail? My colleague Dr John Morse (Byron Media) shared a very useful presentation / webinar from research firm Parks Associates titled AVOIDING OTT’s TOP FIVE MISTAKES. The key is Subscriber Retention. More than 25% of current SVOD/OTT customers have recently cancelled a …


Off The Fence: Independent Distributor Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Cannes. A Podcast with CEO Ellen Windemuth

Ellen Windemuth launched OFF THE FENCE from her basement 25 years ago. In this week’s podcast, Ellen: Looks back at her company’s launch. Reflects on the particular challenges then for women in a male-dominated industry. Explores how Off The Fence grew into an industry-leading independent distributor / producer with a turnover of around $20 million. Describes her …

Royal Wedding & Better Baking: Best British Factual, 2018. The Top 200

The “Best of British” is one of my more popular posts. I list the year’s highest-rated unscripted programs, usually to honor UK producers in time for their PACT party at Realscreen. For a different look at 2018, I combined the Documentary, Factual, Lifestyle & Current Affairs categories, showing the best single episode for series. It’s …

Lifetime’s Hit Docuseries Surviving R. Kelly Busts Through Our Netflix Fixation

Surviving R. Kelly is a timely reminder that a well-told docuseries can ignite a popular conversation, even if its not on Netflix. The three-night, six-hour Lifetime series features multiple women who say they were sexually abused by the singer.  Many of them were minors when they met the “Pied Piper of R&B”. Trailer: Audience Surviving R. …

Netflix, Prime & Hulu Audience Data: Comparing “The Grand Tour” with Their Hit, Binge-watched Scripted Series

Netflix and Amazon Prime famously don’t disclose their viewing data. We don’t know how many subscribers are watching documentary and unscripted programs. Or how their audience breaks down, for example by gender, age, education and income. And how do the hit, binge-watched scripted series compare with the unscripted audience on the OTT/Netflix platforms? The lack of …