Netflix's 'The Witcher' is still the biggest series in the world even as it loses steam in the US, and it shows how crucial sci-fi and fantasy are for streaming TV
Netflix's hit fantasy series, "The Witcher," is slipping in audience demand in the US but is still the most in-demand TV series across all platforms globally, according to data firm Parrot Analytics. "The Witcher" has held the top spot worldwide for nearly two months. The show's worldwide popularity is good for Netflix as the streaming giant tries to grow its presence internationally. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
While US audiences might be losing some interest in Netflix's hit fantasy series, "The Witcher," it's still the biggest show worldwide. Data firm Parrot Analytics told Business Insider that the show, based on the Polish novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, is still the most in-demand TV series globally across all platforms over the last 30 days (January 14 to February 12). It has held that top spot since it dethroned Disney Plus' "The Mandalorian" seven weeks ago. Parrot Analytics measures demand expressions, its globally standardized TV measurement unit that reflects the desire, viewership, and engagement of a series weighted by importance. "The Witcher" has slipped in recent weeks in the company's US audience-demand rankings for original streaming shows, which are provided to Business Insider on a weekly basis. Last week, it was third in the ranking, behind "The Mandalorian" and Netflix's "Stranger Things." "The Witcher" and "The Mandalorian" have been locked in a battle for audience demand since the former premiered in December (the latter debuted in November), and it's a preview of what's to come in the streaming wars. Both shows exhibit qualities that make a streaming series a hit, according to Parrot Analytics, including sci-fi and fantasy themes inspired by popular source material. Amazon has also recognized the importance of the sci-fi and fantasy genres in streaming TV. Prime Video has ramped up its development of sci-fi and fantasy shows over the last two years, doubling its percentage of sci-fi TV commissions in the second half of 2019 compared to the same time in 2018, according to research firm Ampere Analysis. Netflix, however, is still the leader and has 41 sci-fi and fantasy shows in development or production while Amazon has 27. Both are more than Hulu or Disney Plus have combined, according to Ampere Analysis. "The Witcher's" worldwide popularity is a good thing for Netflix. The streaming giant's subscriber growth in the US came in below projections in its most recent earnings report, while its international growth exceeded expectations. As Netflix grows its presence outside the US, shows like "The Witcher" will be increasingly valuable.SEE ALSO: Exclusive data show Amazon is doubling down on sci-fi TV shows while Netflix expands its comedy and romance offerings Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal
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Ad spending data reveals how streaming TV services like Netflix and Disney are changing their marketing tactics
With people spending more time in front of their TV sets, an advertising battle is emerging...With people spending more time in front of their TV sets, an advertising battle is emerging among streaming-video platforms that are vying for an audience surge like the one Netflix recently reported. New subscription services like Quibi, Disney Plus, and Apple TV Plus, as well as players like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, are driving up ad spending in the entertainment category. The video-entertainment category spent 41% more on national TV ads during March 2020 compared with a year earlier, reaching a total of $52 million, largely because of on online platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus, according to data from WPP's research arm, Kantar. Data from iSpot.tv, Pathmatics, and MediaRadar showed the streaming-ad wars continued in April, both on TV and online. Netflix is one streaming service that isn't spending more on advertising, but experts say it may just be marketing more efficiently. Click here for more BI Prime stories. With people spending more time in front of their TV sets, an advertising battle is emerging among streaming-video platforms that are vying for an audience surge like the one Netflix just reported. Netflix said on Tuesday that its audience swelled to 183 million paid subscribers worldwide, after it signed up nearly 16 million paying members from January to March. New subscription services like Quibi, Disney Plus, and Apple TV Plus are trying to buy their ways into audiences' consideration sets, while Hulu and Amazon Prime Video are stepping up advertising to maintain their leads. The combination is driving up spending in the category overall. The video-entertainment category spent 41% more on national TV ads during March 2020 compared with a year earlier, reaching a total of $52 million, largely because of on online platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney Plus, according to data from WPP's research arm, Kantar. Amazon Prime Video spent nearly $7 million to promote the series "Hunters" on TV, on top of other campaigns it ran during the month. And Hulu dropped millions on a brand campaign and promotions for "Little Fires Everywhere" and FX's "Devs," to name a few of the big-budget pushes. The uptick in ad spending by video services came as other major ad categories, such as automakers, fast-food chains, and airlines pulled back on ad spending, which helped amplify those marketing messages even further. "It's not just that they're stepping up, it's that everyone else is stepping down and there's a wider opportunity to influence," said Stephen Davis, global product director for advertising-intelligence services at Kantar Media. "We're all seeing more entertainment advertising because there's not as much auto, or there's as much insurance." Streaming TV's marketing war continued in April Data from iSpot.tv, which tracks national-TV ad airings, estimates that prior to lockdown the streaming-video category aired about $20 million to $25 million worth of TV ads per week. Since late March the category has aired about $40 million worth of TV ads per week, the firm estimates. Note: iSpot.tv's media-value estimates wouldn't include discounts platforms like Disney-owned Hulu or Disney Plus may have received from airing ads on parent-company-owned TV networks. The data represents how much the advertising was worth, rather than what it cost. That's partly because there are more services than there were before. Quibi, a mobile-video platform, launched on April 6, and planned a big marketing push for its debut. Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus are months old and still advertising heavily. And NBCUniversal's Peacock and WarnerMedia's HBO Max are laying the groundwork for their national launches, though they haven't rolled out large ad campaigns yet. Some services are also taking advantage of the opportunity to reach people who are home and looking for things to do. "Streaming companies are seeing an opportunity in all of this chaos to complement the natural behavior for people to consume more video during the day," said Stuart Schwartzapfel, senior vice president of media partnerships at iSpot.tv. Apple TV Plus, Hulu, and Quibi broke into the top 60 ad spenders in US TV during the period of March 20 to April 20, joining Amazon Prime Video, analysts at research firm LightShed Partners wrote in an April 21 blog post, which also cited iSpot.tv data. Amazon Prime Video was the only streaming-video service in the ranking during the prior 12-month period. Hulu blanketed the airwaves advertising for "Mrs. America," "Little Fires Everywhere," and FX content that was coming to Hulu, iSpot.tv data showed. Disney Plus pushed new releases like Disneynature's "Elephant" and "Dolphin Reef," "Frozen II," and Pixar movie "Onward," which came to Disney Plus less than a month after it hit theaters. And Apple TV Plus showcased its breadth of titles, as well as new shows like "Amazing Stories," "Defending Jacob," and "Home Before Dark." Digital marketing is an even bigger opportunity for streaming-TV services, some experts say Disney Plus is spending a ton of money on marketing overall. Ad-analytics platform MediaRadar, which has a broad view of ad spending including mobile, web, national TV, print, and platforms like Snapchat, said Disney spent 318% more on advertising during the month of March than it did in February. Pathmatics, which tracks digital advertising, estimates Disney Plus shelled out nearly $99 million in the 30 days ending April 14, more than four times what the next largest streaming advertiser, Hulu (also owned by Disney), spent during the period. Online, Disney Plus also pushed the final season of "The Clone Wars" and "Frozen II," and Hulu promoted subscription add-ons like HBO and Starz, the Pathmatics data showed. Quibi, which said prior to the pandemic that digital advertising would be a big part of its launch strategy, spent more $10 million on digital ads, according to the Pathmatics data, which includes most US desktop and mobile advertising, as well as advertising on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Anecdotally, it appears Quibi has also been all over Instagram and TikTok, but those platforms were not included in the advertising data that Business Insider analyzed. "Why fish where the fish aren't?" Rich Greenfield, analyst at LightShed, told Business Insider via email. "I don't understand heavy TV ad spend when everyone is on digital devices ... The spending should be on YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, etc." Netflix hasn't boosted ad spending but may be marketing more efficiently Digital marketing is where industry leader, Netflix, has been focusing much of its ad efforts of late. In February, before lockdowns were widespread, Netflix partnered with Samsung to promote its originals with exclusive outtakes and behind-the-scenes videos for subscribers with certain Samsung Galaxy smartphones. In April, Netflix teamed up with Instagram for a series of social videos that feature talent like Caleb McLaughlin from "Stranger Things" discussing issues young people are facing, alongside mental-health experts. today at 4pm PT / 7pm ET — understanding and adapting your self care needs can be really challenging when you’re in quarantine. Noah will be interviewing Dr. Ken Duckworth from @namicommunicate to discuss self care and how it may look for different types of people. So...do you Wanna Talk About It? A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:58pm PDT on Apr 9, 2020 at 12:58pm PDT Despite Netflix's stellar subscriber growth in recent months, the streaming company has not appeared to spend more on advertising, which may suggest it's getting efficient in how it's marketing. "Advertising CPMs are down significantly, across all forms of media, driven by a combination of increased consumer usage and decreased advertiser demand," analysts at equity-research firm Bernstein wrote in an April 22 note. "This creates opportunity for Netflix to either: a) deliver the same advertising weight, spending a lot less money; or b) spend the same amount of money, delivering much more advertising weight." MediaRadar said Netflix's spending has remained steady week over week. From January through March, when Netflix added more subscribers than during any other quarter in its history, the streaming company said it spent 18% less on marketing globally than it did a year earlier. And Pathmatics estimated the Netflix spent about $9 million on digital marketing during the 30 days ending April 14, down 17% from a year earlier. There have been some subtle shifts in Netflix's marketing tactics. The Pathmatics data suggested that Netflix ran a broader range of online campaigns than in the year-ago period, when it was primarily pushing "Bird Box" and "Our Planet." This year, it promoted the platform as a whole, as well as shows including "Love Is Blind," "I Am Not Okay With This," "Elite," "Ozark," and "Tiger King," the data showed. MediaRadar also spotted a slight shift in Netflix's spending toward TV in April. "Netflix is way more committed to digital than everyone else," said Todd Krizelman, CEO of MediaRadar. "However, their digital spend is decreasing. They're putting more money back into TV just in the last few weeks." Netflix has had some recent success with TV ads. In March, Netflix ran a $1.2 million campaign for the original film "Spenser Confidential," its largest TV push during the month, the Kantar data showed. The campaign paid off. Netflix said the movie was watched by 85 million households in its first four weeks on the service.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
Here's what 4 analysts are saying ahead of Netflix's quarterly earnings — the first to show the impact of coronavirus (NFLX)
Netflix reports first quarter earnings on Tuesday. It is one of the first earnings releases that...Netflix reports first quarter earnings on Tuesday. It is one of the first earnings releases that will show the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and US lockdowns on the streaming platform. Here's what four analysts have to say about Netflix ahead of the earnings report. Watch Netflix trade live on Markets Insider. Read more on Business Insider. Netflix is set to report its first quarter earnings Tuesday, one of the first releases to show the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the streaming platform. Shares of Netflix have gained 35% year-to-date through Monday's close, outperforming the broader market and boosted in part by the coronavirus outbreak that's kept millions of Americans at home. The streaming platform has been named in a number of "stay at home" baskets of stocks, slated as one of few companies to benefit from social-distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19 Here's what analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect: Earnings per share (GAAP): $1.64 expected Revenue: $5.74 billion expected In addition, Netflix has recently released a slew of popular new content, including titles such as "Tiger King," reality show "Love is Blind," and the third season of "Ozark." Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 21 stocks that are beating their peers by paying down debt amid an unprecedented plunge in cash spending The new shows may have helped Netflix compete against other streaming services including Disney Plus — the pace of subscription cancellations on the platform declined in both February and March, according to data from subscription measurement and analytics firm Antenna, Business Insider's Ashley Rodriguez reported. The rebound came after Netflix was hurt by the launch of Disney Plus last year. In March, Netflix's US registration website saw a surge in traffic, especially in the last three weeks of the month, according to data from analytics firm SimilarWeb. The spike coincides with the US going into lockdown mode amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here's what four analysts have to say about Netflix ahead of its earnings report:1. Cowen: "Expect a strong quarter" Price target: $445 Rating: Outperform "We expect a strong quarter driven by a solid slate of originals coupled with, a captive audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic," a group of Cowen analysts led by John Blackledge wrote in a note April 15. He continued: "Our view is supported by our positive proprietary 1Q20 survey data. We raised our US sub forecast modestly to reflect lower churn & higher gross adds in 1Q & FY20." "We view the increase in consumption, as well as positive 1Q20 survey data from our proprietary US consumer internet tracker as a positive for net adds, and we expect the benefit to subs to carry forward into the out years of our model." 2. UBS: "Streaming video leader" Price target: $400 Rating: Buy "Against a backdrop of global sheltering in place to address COVID-19, NFLX's position as the streaming video leader (in terms of scale of subscribers and breadth of content) should be on display in its upcoming Q1'20 EPS report," wrote Eric Sheridan of UBS in an April 15 note. New and returning series should also boost performance. "On comparative basis, Netflix titles continue to perform well against the most recent seasons of network shows and original series from Hulu & Amazon," Sheridan said. He continued: "Notably, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness ranks third for peak search interest in the US ahead of Conversation with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes S1. Ozarks S3 and Love is Blind both ranked within the top 15." 3. Bernstein: COVID-19 boost could "set up 2021 very nicely for Netflix pricing" Price target: $487 Rating: Outperform "After significant price increases in most markets throughout 2019, we never expected much pricing activity for Netflix in 2020. Now add to that COVID-19," Todd Juenger of Bernstein wrote in a note April 8. "While positive for Netflix engagement and subs – it also creates a difficult environment for any company to raise prices, despite the increased usage," he said. He continued: "This could, however, set up 2021 very nicely for Netflix pricing, depending on the macro- economic recovery path. The increased engagement and appreciation for Netflix that a growing number of consumers will experience in 2020 could make it that much easier for Netflix to successfully pass through pricing increases in 2021." 4. Canaccord Genuity: "Longer-term COVID-19 should be a tailwind" Price target: $450 Rating: Buy "As consumers around the world spend more time indoors, streaming video is certainly seeing a boost, and the cancellation of live sports has created an opening for SVOD platforms to capture a higher share of entertainment time," Canaccord Genuity's Maria Ripps wrote in an April 15 note. "At a time when some competitors may be working through production delays for shows that are instrumental to their recent and upcoming launches, Netflix's vast library of original and licensed content sets it apartment competition." She continued: "The recent stock performance is pricing in a healthy subscriber trajectory over the near-term, and we think that Netflix will see a boost to new subscriber addition along with a reduction of churn, resulting in upside to Q1 and a strong Q2 outlook, while longer-term COVID-19 should be a tailwind in the transition from legacy bundles to SVOD platforms."
We identified the 54 most powerful people at Netflix. Here's our exclusive chart of its top executives and their roles.
Netflix, the global leader in streaming TV, is facing more pressure to hold onto its standing...Netflix, the global leader in streaming TV, is facing more pressure to hold onto its standing as legacy-media and tech rivals pursue their own streaming plays. Business Insider spoke with current and former Netflix employees, and industry experts, to identify the 54 most powerful executives who are leading key growth areas at the company. They include influential execs like chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, as well as some less familiar names, like Rochelle King, vice president of creative production. View Business Insider's exclusive interactive chart below. Click here for more BI Prime stories. Netflix is the leader in streaming TV with a global audience of 167 million subscribers and counting. Its last decade of unrivaled subscriber growth, and an equally impressive stock climb, has forced legacy media to take streaming seriously or risk irrelevance, and tech titans to vie for a piece of the streaming TV pie. By the end of 2020, Apple, Disney, Comcast, AT&T, and ViacomCBS will each have unveiled new streaming strategies to challenge Netflix and keep up with the viewer shifts it spurred. The new competition is placing more pressure on Netflix to expand internationally where there's still ample room for growth and to improve its balance sheet. Business Insider spoke with current and former Netflix employees, and industry experts, to identify the 54 most powerful executives who are leading key growth areas at the company. Netflix has many leaders — not all of whom are included here — but this list gives an inside look at who to watch in 2020. At the top of the company is chief executive Reed Hastings, who cofounded Netflix in 1997 as a hub for online-movie rentals, oversaw its move into streaming video 10 years later, and drove the company to become the first truly global TV service. Hastings' core leadership team includes influential execs like content chief, Ted Sarandos, who oversees the company's colossal content budget; and chief product officer, Greg Peters, who is responsible for every aspect of the platform from its price to giving users the option to turn off auto-play video. There are also execs driving key initiatives within Netflix whose names might not be as familiar as those in the c-suite. They include movie boss, Scott Stuber, who is turning the company into a major player in Hollywood; top animation exec, Melissa Cobb, who is helping Netflix compete with Disney Plus; creative-production lead, Rochelle King, who is managing one of the fastest-growing teams at Netflix this year; product vice president, Todd Yellin, who is pushing Netflix to evolve entertainment with new formats like "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch"; and Bela Bajaria, who is developing content for crucial international audiences. Each plays their part to get people to spend more time with Netflix, which will be a key factor in keeping viewers around as new platforms launch. "The real measurement will be time," Hastings said at the New York Times Dealbook conference in November. "How do consumers vote with their evenings?" This chart is interactive. Click on "core team" to get the full list of names. Do you have tips about working at Netflix? Email this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Email for Signal number. Business Insider asked Netflix insiders how to get a job at the streaming company. See our coverage on BI Prime: Exactly what it takes to get a job at Netflix, according to its head of hiring, former employees, and recruiting experts: Insiders share their best tips for navigating the hiring process, from how to prep for an interview to what to do if you don't get the job. Netflix's recruiting boss reveals the team the company is staffing up the most in 2020: Netflix's creative-production team will be its biggest hiring priority. How to get noticed by Netflix job recruiters who can help you get hired, according to company insiders: The first step is to craft your online persona to tell your professional story. How to get a job interview at Netflix with the help of employee referrals — and what to avoid doing, according to company insiders: Recommendations from Netflix employees can get prospective candidates noticed by Netflix recruiters. Former employees shared their top tips on getting referrals, and using them to land a job. Netflix's 5 toughest job-interview questions, according to company insiders: These are some of the job interview questions prospective candidates should be prepared to answer at any stage of the hiring process. What to do if Netflix rejects you for a job the first time around, according to its head of hiring: One employee interviewed at Netflix three separate times before being hired, Netflix's vice president of talent acquisition said. The top 10 slides from Netflix's groundbreaking first culture deck that experts say had the most impact: Netflix's culture deck is a must read for prospective candidates. Recruiters explain what sets Netflix's culture apart from other tech companies. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal