Netflix’s multi-billion dollar investment in original shows is a huge part of the company’s narrative, but it turns out that in Q1 ’17, 85% of its total U.S. streams were actually licensed, non-original shows, according to new research from 7Park Data. The firm believes that while viewers wait for new seasons of originals to appear, they spend time catching up on prior episodes of licensed shows.
For Netflix, the top 3 half-hour programs in March ’17 in the U.S. were “The Office” (8.4% of total streams), “Family Guy” (7.2%) and “Friends” (6.2%), with the most popular hour-long programs “Marvel’s Iron Fist” (6.8%), “Shameless” (4.8%) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.3%).
Meanwhile, Hulu seems to be following a similar pattern: the top 3 half-hour programs on Hulu in March ’17 in the U.S. were “South Park” (6.7% of total streams), “The Golden Girls” (5.8%) and “Family Guy” (5%), with the most popular hour-long programs “Law & Order: SVU” (3.9%), “This is Us” (2.8%) and “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Voice” (both at 2.4%).
7Park also found that “micro-episodes,” which last 15 minutes or less, are becoming a bigger part of viewers’ consumption on Hulu and Netflix. On Hulu, 7% of all streams were micro-episodes in March ’17 up 19% vs. March ’16. On Netflix micro-episodes were up by 18% over the same period, though they still represent an undisclosed “minuscule” amount.
7Park said that Hulu’s micro-episode viewing is mainly due to deals with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Top titles include “Adventure Time,” “Steven Universe,” “Regular Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “The Amazing World of Gumball.” 7Park believes the popularity of micro-episodes correlates with the dominance of short-form clips on social media.
The rise of micro-episodes is also being accompanied by reduced consumption of both half-hour and hour-long TV shows. On Hulu the former dropped 12% from March ’16 to March ’17, now representing 53% of streams in the U.S., while the latter dropped 18% to 40% of streams in the U.S. For Netflix half-hour streams dropped 8% and hour-long streams dropped 5% over the same period.
7Park Data collects its data from 1 million+ active OTT users globally who stream 1 million+ hours of content daily. 7Park Data uses a proprietary mapping process on industry metadata to generate its stream analysis.
The full report can be requested here.