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Fantasy drama demand on up in lockdown

Demand for fantasy dramas like Game of Thrones has increased

Fantasy drama has seen the biggest increase in demand of any genre in the US since the Covid-19 lockdown began, while action animation and children’s shows rose the most across Europe, according to Parrot Analytics.

The global insight firm tracked increases and decreases in demand for various genres since the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns around the world.

For the US, Parrot compared the two weeks before March 16 with the two weeks after, finding that demand for fantasy drama increased the most, followed by school-age content and teen sitcoms. One of the genres that decreased in demand the most was late-night talkshows.

The top three shows in fantasy drama over the period were Game of Thrones, Roswell New Mexico and Motherland: Fort Salem.

Among the titles seeing the biggest declines in demand were those whose production has been disrupted, such as Saturday Night Live and reality shows like The Bachelorette.

For Europe, Parrot examined the two weeks before March 9 compared with the two weeks after. Across the continent, demand for action animation and children’s content increased the most, while crime dramas and sitcoms decreased the most.

In Italy, demand for thrillers and comfort-viewing genres like romantic drama, nature docs and musical drama rose the most, while demand for sitcoms fell the most. In France, teen sitcoms saw the biggest rise in demand, while demand for crime drama significantly dropped.

The UK experienced a surge in demand for action animation and a decline in demand for crime drama. Germany saw a big increase in demand for apocalyptic drama, but demand for crime drama plummeted. Spain had similar results.

“For the US and Europe, we can see that viewers staying at home during the lockdowns are consuming more escapist content like fantasy drama and action animation, which stands to reason,” said Steve Langdon, director of EMEA for Parrot Analytics.

“But there are more complex behaviours at play for some of the increases in demand. Take apocalyptic drama in the US and Italy, for example. These are the kinds of shows you wouldn’t expect to be widely viewed during a crisis like this, but they actually showed an increase in weekly demand just ahead of the lockdown date in both countries.”

Consumers express their demand for content through multiple “demand expression platforms” including video streamers, social media, photo-sharing platforms, blogging and micro-blogging, fan and critic rating platforms, peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing.

Parrot Analytics captures the expressions of demand from these sources and combines them, using artificial intelligence, into a single weighted measure of demand called Demand Expressions.

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