The most aggressive counter programming event of the streaming era kicks off this weekend, according to Parrot Analytics, with Netflix's “Stranger Things” season four, part one, and Disney+’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi” debuting on the same day. Global demand data reveals that “Stranger Things” is potentially poised for its largest audience ever, while “Obi-Wan Kenobi” has seen higher pre-release demand than “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.”
“The debut of these shows serves as a proxy in the contest between Disney and Netflix for streaming and entertainment dominance, as a weakened Netflix stumbles into what it has already warned investors will be its worst quarter ever in terms of subscriber losses, while Disney+ continues to outperform subscriber growth estimates,” Parrot report says. “The simultaneous launch of these shows also highlights the proverbial ‘binge vs weekly’ release strategy debate, and the importance of building out franchise IP in order to drive audience attention in the 2020s and beyond,” it added.
● GLOBAL TIME SHIFT ANALYSIS – “STRANGER THINGS”
Global anticipation ahead of season four of “Stranger Things” is higher than it was ahead of any other season. This makes sense given it has been almost three years since new “Stranger Things” episodes were released, making season four true “Event Television,” according to Parrot. Three days ahead of its season four launch, demand for “Stranger Things” was 108.4x more in demand than the average show worldwide.
● GLOBAL TIME SHIFT ANALYSIS - DISNEY+ STAR WARS LIVE ACTION
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” has clocked higher global pre-release demand than either of its Disney+ Star Wars live action brethren, “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” According to Parrot, this bodes well for the new series, considering global demand for “The Mandalorian” peaked as the second highest streaming original Parrot Analytics has measured.
Disney+’s May 4 trailer release for “Obi-Wan Kenobi” worked very well, building excitement on Star Wars Day and bumping the show up to 29.8x, just outside of Parrot’s “exceptional” category of demand, a remarkable feat for a series that had zero available episodes at the time.
● BINGE VS WEEKLY – “STRANGER THINGS” VS “THE MANDALORIAN”
“Stranger Things” and “The Mandalorian” have hit the two highest peaks of global demand of any streaming original shows Parrot Analytics has measured. “Stranger Things,” a binge released series, peaked four days after its third season debut, before trailing off over in the proceeding weeks. Meanwhile, global demand for “The Mandalorian” grew during its first five episodes, before leveling off, then building again and peaking at 161.5x following its season one finale.
Season four of “Stranger Things” will represent somewhat of a hybrid release, with the first seven episodes available May 27, and the next two on July 1. In the roughly two and half years since “The Mandalorian” launched, it has been the fourth most in-demand series in the world across all platforms with 55.2x, while “Stranger Things” has been number five at 53.9x.
Even though “Obi-Wan Kenobi” is technically a separate series from “The Mandalorian,” the interconnected way in which Disney+ has launched its Star Wars series ala the MCU bodes well for “Obi-Wan Kenobi’s” ability to piggyback off and possibly build on “The Mandalorian’s” massive global audience.