Audiences want more animation than companies provide
In her presentation, Pascale divided all the television productions followed into categories: animation, action and adventure, children, comedy, factual and sports. Using demand data for these productions, she concluded that since the first quarter of 2020, just when Covid-19 began to spread, animation has seen a greater surge in demand than any other category. In fact, audience demand for animation has nearly doubled in the past two and a half years.
Supply, on the other hand, has not kept pace. Comedy, reality and documentary shows are all produced in greater quantity than animation, despite having lower demand scores among audiences. Streamers, networks and exhibitors should take note, argues Pascale, and increase the amount of animation they provide to their customers.
Parrot collects data from several sources to determine audience demand for film and television content and to assign a “demand score” to each title. According to the company, “Demand is a holistic audience measurement system that tracks and captures the 21st century consumer’s interaction with content. Parrot Analytics combines P2P consumption data with search, social media and social video activity to determine cross-platform demand for content and talent, determining which series or players are most likely to drive subscription growth.
Using its data, Parrot can provide an overview of where audiences are best served and where platforms could improve. Based on audience demand in the first half of 2022, Netflix is strong on anime, Prime on preschool content, Disney+ has the most requested originals, and HBO Max has the most sought-after catalog of adult animation.
Netflix and Disney+ are currently the two streamers with the hottest content overall and the most requested content.
Parrot divides animated content into more genres and categories than we would like to list here. The data, however, provides some interesting narratives. For example, Japanese animation is, by far, the most requested animation category. By genre, the most requested animated content includes superhero shows, animated sitcoms, and action fantasy.
Despite hitting Netflix last year, Riot Games’ Esoteric was consistently the most requested series in the first two quarters of 2022 and was among the top 0.2% of all TV shows by demand score. Other anime series that posted outstanding demand scores this year were Disney+ What if…?HBO Max young justicePrime Video Invincibleand both from Paramount+ star trek animated series, Lower decks and Prodigyamong many others.
Animation Halo Effect
Another major talking point of the day was what Parrot describes as animation’s “halo effect” on non-animated content available on streaming services. Using demand score data collected over time, the study described the peaks and troughs of franchises that have both live and animated content.
Specifically, the presentation showed how the demand for animated content peaks when the corresponding live action content is released, and vice versa. With the Q2 output of The boys season 3 on Prime Video, Diabolical saw a huge increase in engagement and landed in the top 2.7% of all on-demand TV shows. Batman animated content saw a similar spike when Warner Bros. The Batman release in theaters, and when Spider-Man no coming home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came out, Disney+ What if? the series has gone viral again. Likewise, when new anime series are released for popular IPs, demand scores for older live-action entries from those franchises almost always see a significant increase in demand.
Towards the end of her presentation, Pascale took a moment to highlight animation’s exceptional ability to go global, using the popular Russian children’s series Masha and the BEAR for example. Parrot uses its demand scores to assign each show a “voyability” rating. The rating represents the demand for a security in a given market relative to the demand for that same security in its country of origin. A mobility score above 60% is exceptional, and Masha topped that mark in the United States, Ukraine, Brazil, and Italy, earning high marks in dozens of other countries as well.