Year 2020 in Review

Between January 1 and December 31 2020, the alpha60 team sampled between 55 and 60 media properties. Of these, 55 media properties have been fully analyzed and have detailed swarm distribution results.

For the 2020 sample set of 55 media properties, the alpha60 team found 221,331,203 unique peers, which means that the total universe of all sampled peers is at least 4 times bigger than that. Upshot:  more than one billion peers were sampled over the last year.

Some trends:

There were many delayed releases. This is due to COVID-19 and release dates resetting multiple times. Release dates became hazy mid-spring and only become solid two weeks before the final release date.

There were more “early” releases of content on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video and other streaming platforms. This was the year that “released at midnight PST” might mean that content starts streaming at nine or ten pm PST.

There were more two-part and multi-part releases where one was released and then the release date for the second part is only hinted at, like “early 2021.” Looking at you, Euphoria. Was those part of Season 1, a coda? A preview of Season 2? Pirates didn’t know what to call this, with all those plus Season 00 making an appearance.

Non-USA productions sold content to USA-based streaming platforms. Global content got mined by established media companies in the USA for release in the domestic market. Big Chinese film ventures like Vanguard, Russian, Korean, Ukranian Sci-Fi genre films, Polish romance genre films on Netflix, pretty much any dusty tin with media that any studio had on the shelves from 2017 to 2020 got released in some form this year.

Film releases in 2020 were noticably strong and have started to compete with multiple episodes of the large streaming shows for dominance in raw numbers. Mulan, Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984: all very strong releases with lots of demand on the internet, regardless of what happened with the theatrical box office in USA and Europe.

Where (after spending $6B) are the viewers for Apple TV+? Where is the Netflix Original besides The Queen’s Gambit that over-performed? What SciFi genre series will Netflix continue past 2-4 seasons now that Dark and Altered Carbon are done? Are all the top streaming platforms at parity for the superhero-genre, with Disney+ using Marvel Universe properties, Netflix with Umbrella Academy, HBO with Doom Patrol, and Amazon with The Boys?

Sample lengths have increased.  The standard sample length is 10 week, the extra sample length is 15 week, and the long sample length is 26 weeks. The long sample length is based on feedback from Disney+/Hulu. More to the point, streaming metrics are much longer than traditional television 3-, 5-, 10- and 21- day metrics, and are approaching the traditional film box office scorekeeping, aka yearly results. Stay tuned. Three week results are no longer super useful when it may take 1, 2, or 3 episodes to wake busy streaming customers and make them pay attention to new offerings.

In order of total unique peers (even though not all have the same sample lengths), here is the ranked list of media objects:

  1. 25,041,652 Mulan 2020 (disney+)
  2. 21,138,618 The Mandalorian 108 (disney+)
  3. 12,815,566 Altered Carbon 2 (netflix)
  4. 12,259,385 Tenet (warner/hbo)
  5. 11,939,873 The Expanse 4 (amazon)
  6. 11,765,968 The Boys 201 (amazon)
  7. 8,946,683 High Fidelity (hulu)
  8. 8,683,355 The Boys 208 (amazon)
  9. 5,902,010 Wonder Woman 1984 (warner/hbo)
  10. 5,589,826 The Mandalorian 208 (disney+)
  11. 5,148,969 Westworld 301 (hbo)
  12. 4,872,366 Westworld 308 (hbo)
  13. 4,634,065 Doom Patrol 201 (hbo)
  14. 4,571,681 The Mandalorian 201 (disney+)
  15. 4,480,923 The Umbrella Academy 2
  16. 4,307,513 Tales From The Loop 1
  17. 4,271,245 Star Trek Picard 10
  18. 4,257,564 Dark 3
  19. 4,039,414 Hamilton
  20. 3,828,119 Narcos Mexico 2
  21. 3,810,772 BoJack Horseman 6
  22. 3,468,080 Da 5 Bloods
  23. 3,046,284 Lovecraft Country 101
  24. 2,988,239 The Watchmen 109
  25. 2,981,190 Vanguard
  26. 2,725,944 Raised By Wolves 110
  27. 2,674,561 Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 3
  28. 2,516,385 What We Do In The Shadows 210
  29. 2,323,578 Upload 1
  30. 2,194,750 Solar Opposites 1
  31. 2,096,363 Black Is King
  32. 1,968,373 The Walking Dead 1008
  33. 1,776,270 The Lovebirds
  34. 1,618,769 Folklore
  35. 1,518,672 Devs 4
  36. 1,343,292 Space Force 1
  37. 1,258,184 Biohackers 1
  38. 1,164,404 Altered Carbon Resleeved 2020
  39. 1,096,162 Queer Eye 2020 4
  40. 999,773 Happiest Season
  41. 971,091 Jamtara: Sabka Number Ayega 1
  42. 897,926 Songbird
  43. 867,812 #blackAF 1
  44. 829,247 The Expanse 501
  45. 822,838 Japan Sinks
  46. 774,199 Avenue 5 101
  47. 763,907 Star Trek: Lower Decks 101
  48. 737,784 Lovecraft Country 110
  49. 677,753 Away 1
  50. 593,538 The Tiger King and I & Extras 1
  51. 460,092 The Good Fight 407
  52. 427,316 Control Z 1
  53. 368,039 Euphoria Special 1
  54. 41,592 Ferhat Ile Sirin 1
  55. 33,229 Kurulus Osmon 1