From the AnthologyAI Blog

Did someone say to pass the binge-worthy sauce? A look into what’s captivating US Viewers

May 15, 2024

AnthologyAI (parent company of the Caden consumer app) looked into our knowledge graph of 67 million Netflix watch actions for consumers across the US to uncover what’s trending. Spoiler alert: It’s a mix of the strange, dark, and satirical. 

Key Insight

Based on the 550 million data points across watch actions related to streaming captured by AnthologyAI, “Stranger Things,” "Wednesday," "You," and "Squid Game" jumped to the top of the queue. Serving up just the right kind of binge-worthy sauce, more viewers checked out these buzz-worthy shows than any other content on Netflix.

With Netflix's new psychological thriller, "Baby Reindeer," hitting the screens last month, this insight may continue to hold sway. But are these series just one-off successes or are they windows into the subtleties that are capturing viewers across the country? Since we’re in the business of decision intelligence, not crystal balls, we’ll let you be the judge.

(data based on AnthologyAI’s proprietary knowledge graph directly and ethically sources from US consumers) 

Here’s what these shows all have in common
  1. Psychology: Whether it’s addressing trauma and PTSD through the supernatural, the quirky escapades of a goth teen, the troubling charm of a stalker, or a deadly game of survival, Netflix’s top series are less about what's on-screen and more about reflecting our inner and outer worlds. These shows reflect broader societal issues that stir up the human condition while connecting with universal themes of identity, love, and survival.

  2. Complex Characters and Moral Ambiguities: Remember that one literature teacher we all had who was obsessed with the byronic hero? Well, you can thank them for this one. Forget the conventional heroes; it’s the era of flawed and morally ambiguous characters. From "Wednesday’s" misunderstood genius to "You’s" love-struck sociopath, Eleven’s tumultuous journey with her past in “Stranger Things,”  and the desperate contestants of "Squid Game," these characters resonate deeply because they reflect our own complexities— just dialed all the way up.

  3. The Black Mirror effect: The most striking aspect of these shows is their critique of societal norms and structures. “Stranger Things" plays on government conspiracies and the loss of innocence, "Squid Game" critiques economic systems, "You" challenges the impacts of social media and modern dating, while "Wednesday" addresses themes of nonconformity and identity. These narratives serve as a mirror, reflecting societal challenges and engaging viewers on a deeper level.

Ready to learn what AnthologyAI consumer data can reveal about your target audience? Get in touch to learn more >>

Strategic Implications for Streaming Services

It’s not about copying what works; it’s about understanding why it works. This is where the gold is.

For streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Peacock, understanding viewer habits and preferences can drive more targeted content creation and marketing strategies. By recognizing the elements that make these shows successful, such as their societal insights and complex character dynamics, streamers can make informed decisions around distribution deals, content production investments, viewing recommendations and more to increase engagement and subscription loyalty.

Harnessing Viewer Insights for Future Success

The success of these shows underscores the business value of understanding viewer behaviors. AnthologyAI is the Artificial Intelligence Consumer Insights & Predictions Platform with billions of behavioral data points sourced directly and ethically from consumers. With AnthologyAI, businesses across retail, telecoms, media and financial services can access previously unavailable levels of intelligence about retail, spending, geolocation, media consumption, travel, ride-sharing and more — in near real-time, at scale. Our first-party data is directly and ethically sourced from consumers in the Caden app.

Partner with AnthologyAI

We work with the most progressive, technology-enabled, ethically-minded corporations who want to rethink how we collect and make decisions from consumer behavioral data. Our platform fulfills hundreds of different use cases. Want to see how we can bring new consumer intelligence to your business? Get in touch with our strategic development team.