For each TV title, we calculate a Popularity Score, taking into account the total number of views and the length of time the title has been available to viewers in the relevant country. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 100, with the most successful title in that country receiving a score of 100. Therefore, a TV title with a score of 50 is half as popular as the top title. You can read a full breakdown of how we calculate these scores here.
This research relates to audiences in the US
Audiences have a choice like never before. With subscription video on demand (SVOD) at people’s fingertips, long gone are the days of scheduling life around your favourite show, or waiting for the watershed in the UK. People can now have a serving of American Horror Story with their breakfast, a side of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with their lunch, and get stuck into You over coffee.
But here’s the big question – given the complete choice, which genres are audiences watching the most? Are people out for laughs? Are they yearning to be educated? Or are they ready for the escapism of a gripping drama?
What genres are available?
Let’s start by looking at what types of shows were available to audiences over our three and a half year study period, and then look at the genres they chose to watch.
Take a look at the chart below. You’ll see a breakdown of the genres of TV shows available to US audiences for at least 100 days during our study.
Drama takes top position in terms of prevalence, making up over a quarter of TV shows available on Netflix. Comedy and family shows account for 17% and 16% of the share respectively, while 19% of shows were wholly non-fiction (i.e. classed as “Documentary”) and a further 9% were quasi-non-fiction (i.e. classed as “Reality TV”).
Note: TV shows often have multiple genres, which is why the totals add up top more than 100%. The average TV show had 2.0 genres.
Dramas might be taking up more space than any other genre, but are they the most popular?
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