Disney’s live-action “Mulan” remake was still able to reach a significant audience in September despite requiring a Disney+ subscription and payment of a $29.99 fee to watch, 7Park Data stats provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform suggest.
Just over 10% of 7Park panel viewers in the U.S. watched “Mulan” last month, making it the fifth-widest-reaching title across SVODs that 7Park tracks (Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Apple TV+) in September. Not included in 7Park’s measurement are HBO Max and Peacock.
That speaks to the popularity, and perhaps even controversy, surrounding Disney’s “Mulan” remake, as it was still able to reach a bigger share of 7Park Data panel viewers than other buzzy docs and films, such as “The Social Dilemma” and “Enola Holmes.” Those titles released after “Mulan,” although they didn’t require onetime $29.99 fees like the remake did.
Keep in mind this is depicting the U.S. streaming behaviors of a certain segment of consumers.
Using audio content recognition to calculate its rankings, 7Park on a daily basis measures the number of unique users who tune into titles and how long those users spend with titles. The research firm utilizes a census-balanced panel in the range of 15,000-25,000 U.S. households watching via connected TV (either smart TVs or devices connecting TVs to the internet — e.g., Roku).
Watching at least two minutes of a program is counted toward share of viewership. Mobile viewing is not measured by the 7Park panel.
Still, it’s helpful to have a ranking where titles can be compared across platforms apples to apples when SVODs generally don’t disclose viewership details.
The exception to that is Netflix, which gives out certain viewer numbers during earnings calls and regularly publishes its top 10 list. That top 10 list in September was dominated by “Cobra Kai,” and that helps explain why 7Park found that title to be the most watched by time spent among its panel viewers in September.
“Cobra Kai” was originally aired as a YouTube Red original in 2018 but was recently shopped to Netflix after YouTube exited scripted content. Seasons 1 and 2 of the series hit Netflix on August 28.
The show’s recent surge could be in part explained by it being recommended to consumers on a platform as big as Netflix. While YouTube is a massive platform with over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, Netflix’s U.S. sub count (BMO Capital Markets estimates that to be about 66.3 million in 2020) is bigger than YouTube Premium’s total sub count (YouTube Premium and YouTube Music together count 20 million subs), suggesting wider audience now has access to “Cobra Kai.”
Newcomers “Away,” “Ratched” and Amazon’s “The Boys” also cracked the top 5 most watched shows among 7Park panel viewers.
Even though Disney+ didn’t have a title in the September top 10 time-spent ranking, U.S. households still spent more time on it than Hulu last month, which is filled with licensed TV hits, 7Park’s data shows. And yet Disney+ didn’t count one title that cracked 7Park’s top 10 most watched September ranking, despite its vast catalog, which includes “The Simpsons.”
Netflix subscribers particularly gravitated toward four licensed shows, including “Schitt’s Creek” and “Girlfriends” in September. Additionally, “The Umbrella Academy,” which 7Park found to be the top performing Netflix title of August, appeared to have been able to hold onto some of that launch month popularity.
S2 of “The Boys” kicked off on Prime Video last month, and 7Park’s numbers suggest that show was the clear superstar of the platform in September.
For Hulu, “Bob’s Burgers” continued to drive meaningful amounts of time spent in September. That show was Hulu’s most watched title in August among 7Park panel viewers as well. In July, it was the third most watched.
“Mulan” clearly outperformed other Disney+ titles in September, and that was hinted at by the fact that no other Disney+ title made it into 7Park’s September top 10 cross-platform audience-share ranking.
No surprises with “The Morning Show” being a top Apple TV+ title in September, but the presence of “Ted Lasso” suggests Apple has found another hit among its subscribers (“Ted Lasso” was also Apple TV+’s second most watched title in August, per 7Park figures).
For the October 7Park Apple TV+ time-spent ranking, look out for the Bill Murray and Rashida Jones-starring “On the Rocks” film to potentially grab a spot.