‘Umbrella Academy’ Netflix’s Top August Title, Data Reveals (Subscriber Extra)

Variety Intelligence Platform

Netflix’s superhero TV show “The Umbrella Academy” was its biggest home run throughout the month of August, 7Park Data stats provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform suggest.

About 20% of 7Park panel viewers in the U.S. watched “Umbrella Academy” last month, nearly two times the number of panel viewers who tuned into Netflix’s Jamie Foxx starrer “Project Power,” which was Netflix’s second-widest-reaching title, according to the data.

The 7Park data implies that “Umbrella Academy” in August was also a major hit compared with programming on other SVOD platforms — and not just for Netflix titles. Among 7Park’s data panel, which tracks viewing of Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and Apple TV+ (with HBO Max and Peacock not included), “Umbrella Academy” reached the largest share of viewers across all measured titles, such as Disney+’s “The One and Only Ivan,” featuring Bryan Cranston, and S5 of Netflix’s “Lucifer,” both of which debuted on August 21.

However, keep in mind that the success of “Umbrella” is far from unprecedented. It didn’t come close to matching the cross-platform reach of “Hamilton” in July.

7Park measures the number of unique users who tune into titles on a daily basis and how long those users spend with titles via audio content recognition. 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.

What’s also telling from 7Park’s data is that “Umbrella Academy” attracted more viewing than “Lucifer,” which was Netflix’s second-biggest August title by time spent and the second-biggest title by time spent among 7Park Data panel viewers overall.

While the total runtime of S2 of “Umbrella Academy” (10 episodes, roughly 548 minutes total) is longer than that of S5 of “Lucifer” (8 episodes, about 446 minutes), there are five seasons of the latter on Netflix, as opposed to the former show’s two available seasons. 

“Umbrella” besting “Lucifer” in terms of August time spent, even with a smaller total catalog, could be taken as one indication that the back catalog of the former show attracted more viewership than the back catalog of the latter. But “Umbrella” attracting more viewership is also probably a reflection of the show’s more recent initial release date (Feb. 2019 S1 debut) compared with Lucifer’s (Jan. 2016 S1 debut).

Regardless of which won August’s streaming title crown, 7Park’s data makes it clear that a significant chunk of August streaming viewing was thanks to Netflix, which accounted for 8 out of the top 10 shows last month by time spent among measured SVODs.

That helps explain why Netflix continued to account for the highest number of average minutes spent on SVODs per U.S. household when compared with Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and Apple TV+.

On Netflix alone, original titles continued to lead the way in terms of popularity in August. Just 3 out of the top 10 biggest titles by time spent were non-originals.

On Prime Video, there were four non-original titles that cracked its top 10 August time-spent ranking, and that figure was flat from July.

On Hulu, where licensed content likely plays a bigger role in the subscription value proposition than it does for other SVODs, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Ramy” were the two originals that cracked 7Park’s top 10 August time-spent ranking. 

Even though “The One and Only Ivan” appeared to be embraced, or at least sampled, by many Disney+ viewers in August, “Hamilton” was still able to capture more Disney fans well after its debut.

For Apple, “The Morning Show” seems to continue to be a juggernaut for the service in terms of driving engagement. While COVID-19 sidelined development of S2 of Apple’s flagship original, Apple still luckily found a way to entertain audiences with celebs including Jason Sudekis (“Ted Lasso”) and Tom Hanks (“Greyhound”).