January 27, 2023

If in recent years you’ve been entranced by the feel-good seriousness of “Ted Lasso” or the high-flying acrobatics of “Cobra Kai,” you’re far from alone. That’s according to a new study from Whip Media, a company that has collected data on consumer viewing data and engagement insights and delved into which TV genres have gained the most fans in recent years.

Reported by Advanced Television, the Whip survey shows that sports-themed shows — including “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, “Cobra Kai” on Netflix, and the docu-series “Welcome to Wrexham” on Hulu — have seen an 80% increase saw in fans since 2019. That’s good news for pretty much every service, as every service has a popular sports series in its catalog.

Whip’s research also showed that Western titles have seen a 56% increase in fandom since 2019. That’s especially good news for Paramount+ and Peacock. “Yellowstone” has been a major driver of Western content over the years, and while past seasons stream on Peacock, the spin-off shows “1923” and “1883” are live on Paramount+. Other streamers are starting to catch on, as Prime Video recently released the first seasons of “Outer Range” and “The English”.

Surprisingly, shows in the “Suspense” genre have seen the biggest drop in fan numbers over the past three years. That could simply be due to market saturation, as every major streaming service currently offers multiple suspense series as the cornerstone of its programming. This fan outage doesn’t seem to be affecting Netflix negatively, as the series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” and “Wednesday” both broke viewership records for the service this year.

Another genre that saw a big drop in fans was content for kids. That would be particularly bad news for Disney+ if the service focused solely on such shows. Disney+ does offer a wide variety of children’s programming, but it has integrated Marvel and Star Wars content into its brand so well that users see it as much more than just a service for young age content. This could also explain why Warner Bros. Discovery has seemingly completely given up on trying to become a hub for kid-specific programming.

One genre that streaming services should add more of is game shows. These types of shows have seen a 35% increase in fan base since 2019, but few streaming services offer original game show titles in their libraries. Game shows have relatively low production costs, with fewer performers to hire and no bloated special effects budget, and they’re a great way to entice more subscribers if done correctly.

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