Netflix: Tiger King’s Joe Exotic vs David Attenborough for the Most Popular Launch of a Series

David Attenborough went head-to-head with Joe Exotic in the battle for the ‘Most Popular Launch of a Netflix Unscripted Series.’

Tiger King failed to deliver a knockout blow over Our Planet, instead winning on points.

That’s the finding from Parrot Analytics‘ online Demand analysis — a methodology that scoops up and ranks all of a program’s online impressions from downloads to FB likes.

It’s not a Nielsen or BARB rating, but Parrot’s Demand analysis is a useful workaround for Netflix’s secretive management of its viewing data.

Here is the table:

Top 10 Netflix Unscripted Series
Demand Ranking Measures
(14-day period beginning with premiere; U.S.-only)

Tiger King: 26.9
Our Planet: 21.6
The Keepers: 14.5
The Family: 9.4
American Factory: 8.5
Made In Mexico: 8.1
Hyperdrive: 8.1
Dating Around: 7.5
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo: 7.2
Rhythm & Flow: 7.1

Source : Parrot Analytics in YES, “TIGER KING” IS A HIT. BUT DATA SHOWS BIGGER CATS IN THE NETFLIX JUNGLE (Kevin Tran, Variety, April 14 2020)

Peter’s Takeaways

  • Tiger‘s +25% higher Demand vs Planet is somewhat inflated by the streamer’s 5%+/- increase in UCAN subscribers in the 12 months between their launches.
  • This +20% net advantage is much less decisive than I expected from my reading of Tiger King’s saturation media coverage.
  • The finding reinforces both the appeal of Blue Chip Wildlife and of the ageless David Attenborough.
  • Both programs enjoyed a big gap over Parrot’s #3-10 ranked Factual programs.
  • I’m pleased that the Top 5 includes two revealing documentaries with a socio/political edge — The Family and American Factory — as well as a True Crime series (The Keepers).
  • Reality / Lifestyle programs dominate #6-10.

Comparing Scripted Series

The Top 2 Scripted Series measured by launch Demand are:

  • The Witcher: 170.0
  • Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina: 84.0

Production Budget vs Impact

  • Tiger King registers around one sixth the audience Demand at launch of the Scripted leader, The Witcher.
  • This gap is reflected in their relative cost: the estimated budget of Tiger is around $2 million / episode, versus $10 million / episode for Witcher.
  • My back-of-envelope cost/benefit analysis reveals how the Documentary / Unscripted category keeps on delivering for Netflix.

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