In February, the most wanted show on Netflix was “Attack on Titan.” “The Walking Dead,” “Stranger Things,” “The Witcher” and “Cobra Kai” wrapped up the top five most-wanted hits last month on the streaming giant.
“Attack on Titan” generated 57.85 times the demand for the mid-series for the month — as measured by Parrot’s patented Analytics platform, which takes into account consumer research data, live broadcasts, downloads, and social media, among other consumer engagement.
The anime series had the highest global demand of any series in 2021 as well as being the most requested series in the United States. This show is a smart addition to the Netflix platform as it capitalizes on the growing demand for animation while Netflix creates the next must-watch anime itself. Original animated series such as “Yasuke” and “Castlevania” have already captured the attention of audiences, but not to the same degree of global success as “Attack on Titan”.
There are also a number of licensed series taking advantage of new seasons on their original networks among the 10 most in-demand shows on Netflix last month. The ever-popular “The Walking Dead” on AMC, which ranks second on the list, is in the middle of its eleventh and final season, while sixth place “The Flash” is currently releasing episodes in its eighth season on The CW.
Anticipation for Starz’s “Outlander” was high ahead of its sixth season premiere on March 6 after a nearly two-year hiatus. Ranked 8th on this list, “Outlander” has also been the most requested period drama recently.
However, since these shows are licensed to Netflix, their most recent seasons air on their original networks first. Licensed series like this make up the majority of the demand for previous seasons of shows available on Netflix. While the streaming device’s back catalog will get some attention as audiences catch up before the latest episodes, Netflix is unable to fully capitalize on the latest season’s peak of interest from these shows, because it has to wait for it to be available for release on its platform.
This is just one of the reasons why original content (as opposed to licensed content) is so important – it bridges the gap between when new content is released and when it becomes available to platform subscribers.
However, Netflix appears set to fix this vulnerability in its catalog. Last week at the AnimeJapan event, the company announced 40 new anime films and series scheduled for release this year, including the continuation of the popular titles “Ultraman,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and “Tiger and Bunny.”
One of the ways Netflix gets more value from its licensed content is through exclusivity. Roughly a third of the demand for shows on Netflix was for series that are not original but cannot be streamed anywhere else in the United States. Offers like this still provide a strong incentive for subscribers to sign up for the platform and stay.
Four of the 10 most wanted shows on Netflix in February were their own original series. “The Witcher” and “Cobra Kai” – fourth and fifth on our list, respectively – are still dropping from peak demand in recent seasons in December. The first part of the last season of “Ozark” (#10) premiered at the end of January. Netflix is taking a season split approach with this show, which it has used with other series, such as “La Casa de Papel,” and plans to use it in the upcoming “Stranger Things” season. This strategy allows it to spark interest in a longer show while maintaining an over-release model where all episodes are dropped at once.