Disney+ original series The Mandalorian was the most popular streaming show in the US in December 2019, beating even Netflix’s The Witcher. The streaming industry is getting increasingly competitive, with new services such as Disney+ and Apple TV attempting to carve their own niche in popular culture.
The last few months have seen both Disney+ and Netflix launch high-profile, successful TV series that caught the public imagination. In the case of Disney+, it was The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars TV series. For Netflix, it was The Witcher, a TV show that attempted to fill the void left by Game of Thrones. According to Business Insider, The Witcher became the most popular TV series worldwide. But that’s not really a fair comparison, because The Mandalorian is only currently available in a limited number of territories. The best way to compare the two shows is to look at the US market.
According to Parrot Analytics, a data analytics company who measure online demand for TV shows, both The Mandalorian and The Witcher performed incredibly well. They both measured in the top 0.2 percent of TV series in terms of demand, with interest in The Mandalorian growing more gradually due to its episodic release schedule. Peak US demand for The Mandalorian occurred 50 days after the launch of Disney+, shortly after the spectacular season 1 finale. It was 7.3 percent higher than peak demand for The Witcher, which was dropped as an entire season, and peaked just 6 days after it became available on Netflix. Parrot note that it’s very unlikely for demand for The Witcher to achieve those heights again until the streaming giant begins to market season 2.
Looking at December alone, Parrot Analytics confirmed that the month was incredibly competitive. The top 10 digital originals in the United States included shows from no less than four different streaming services, and a wide range of genres. Looking at the entire month of December 2019, the rankings were as follows:
- The Mandalorian (Disney+)
- Stranger Things (Netflix)
- Titans (DC Universe)
- The Witcher (Netflix)
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
- The Crown (Netflix)
- The Expanse (Prime Video)
- Lucifer (Netflix)
- You (Netflix)
- Harley Quinn (DC Universe)
There’s a sense in which this ranking is unfair to The Witcher, simply because The Witcher only released on December 20. Still, this does give a strong sense of the level of competition, both across streaming services and across genres, and helps to understand just how popular The Mandalorian really is. The Star Wars fanbase may be fiercely divided over the sequel trilogy, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may not exactly be getting rave reviews, but the first ever live action TV series was a hit. The Star Wars films are on hiatus for now, with Lucasfilm focused on Disney+ TV shows, and that’s a wise move.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. will no doubt be particularly pleased to see two of their digital originals in the top 10; the DC Universe streaming service has a lot less content than the likes of Netflix and Prime Video, and yet it’s clearly fiercely competitive. Both Titans and Harley Quinn appear in the top 10, proving the high level of demand for DC originals.