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With Disney and Fox leaving, data shows Netflix trying to bridge the gap with originals like Sabrina, Hill House

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Dec 10, 2018

Not that you’d know it from their latest market-crushing numbers, but Netflix may be perched at the edge of a strategy shift to retain its streaming dominance, leaning harder than ever on original hits like Stranger Things, The Haunting of Hill House, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as the Disney-Fox merger ushers other hit shows out the platform’s giant red door.

Via Variety, new data reveals that Netflix is enjoying plenty of success on the back of its originals, despite the majority of its recent viewership zeroing in on licensed content like NBC’s The Office (the most-viewed show on the platform last month) and Friends (which caused a mini-panic among Netflix fans when the show was rumored to be on its way out). 

Whether genre or not, reruns of licensed shows like The Good Place, The Office, and Friends accounted for a reported 63 percent of all Netflix traffic last month. But Netflix originals — including Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and, yes, the now-canceled, Disney-controlled Daredevil — still dominate the top of the service’s most-watched list. 

The numbers come thanks to a new analysis of Netflix viewership from research firm 7Park Data, which lists three Netflix original genre shows among the platform’s latest most-watched. According to that breakdown, Chilling Adventures was November’s second most-viewed Netflix show (behind The Office), while Daredevil came in at No. 7, and Hill House at No. 9. In fact, Netflix originals took up six of the top 10 slots among the platform’s most-watched series last month.

The demise of Netflix’s Disney/Marvel shows, which already has claimed Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist as casualties, has come just as other Netflix originals have seen slowly increasing viewership through 2018, according to the analysis. While it’s hard to know for sure whether those two trends are directly related, it’s a pattern that indicates Netflix is likely looking to close the gap left open by the Disney-Fox exit, and it’s a gap that owes much to fantasy and comic book-based content that can’t be viewed anywhere else. 

It’s not as if Netflix is shying away from the challenge of emerging from its Disney dalliance with new shows to replace the old, and the service definitely has a ton of new and returning genre originals in the works. Coming back for new seasons are current fan favorites like Stranger Things, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Altered Carbon, Lost in Space, Black Mirror, The Dragon Prince, BoJack Horseman, Disenchantment, and Guillermo del Toro’s Trollhunters, to name but a few. 

The list of all-new Netflix originals is even longer, with just-released projects like She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, along with upcoming titles Umbrella Academy, October Faction, Warrior Nun, Another Life, a live-action Cowboy Bebop series, a Pinocchio movie from del Toro, a batch of new projects based on the works of Roald Dahl, and Netflix’s development relationship with its Millarworld comic book imprint.

Until those shows come along to prove their worth with viewers, and until the Disney+ streaming platform arrives to entice fans with Star Wars, Marvel, and more, it’s hard to anticipate how Netflix’s genre street cred will look in the months to come. But with so many original shows on the horizon for both platforms, at least it’s us — the fans — who look poised to come out on top.

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