There’s a pattern in a show’s social media conversation that indicates when a show (streaming or cable) is more likely to be picked up for future seasons versus cancelled after one season.

In order to find this information, we looked at cancelled and renewed shows for 30 days following their season one premieres.

Infographic of social indicators for renewed shows.

Sustained Social Volume

Renewed streaming shows sustain conversation at a higher rate during the first month after release, with an average 8% drop in day-over-day social volume. Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, and The Haunting of Hill House generated just a 1-3% decrease day-over-day. Shows that are more likely to be cancelled have an average >18% decrease.

Geographic Dispersion

  • Renewed streaming and cable shows both have a geographically diverse conversation, meaning buzz from industry hubs New York City and Los Angeles fall below 30% of total chatter. Shows cancelled after one season are more concentrated in NYC and LA, averaging >40%. This Is Us had a NYC and LA average of only 28%.
  • Netflix shows are the most likely to generate broader geographic breakdown, whereas Hulu and Amazon Prime Video average >40% NYC and LA conversation in the release weekend for renewed shows.
  • Renewed shows are likely to over-index in regions like the Midwest and Deep South, as well as markets with a high concentration of African American and Hispanic audiences. Over-indexing in all four is rare and is indicative of “must watch” streaming hits like Haunting of Hill House, Stranger Things, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as shows like Game of Thrones, This Is Us, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Audience Diversity

  • Audience diversity is crucial for network and cable shows. Successful weekly shows are equally likely to generate conversation from both self-described liberals and conservatives as well as parents and teens. For example, 9-1-1’s fan conversation was widespread, spanning across parents, teens, African Americans, liberals, and conservatives.
  • Conversely, streaming shows can find success with niche audiences. For example, Russian Doll and Queer Eye generate the most conversation from specific audience segments (such as LGBTQ+ audiences) rather than broader audience segments like parents and teens.

Fans, Not Noise

Successful streaming shows average >75% of the conversation from unique users (i.e., the conversation consists of a wider audience opposed to a smaller audience that noisily posts about the show repeatedly). For example, Sex Education’s unique users were 81% of total volume.

Fans Create Content

Renewed shows on streaming and cable generate more fan-made media on social. Gifs, photos, and videos each average >5% of all posts about each show.

 

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