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'Bridgerton' renewal, monster earnings underscore Netflix's streaming dominance

Alexandra Canal
·3-min read

Netflix’s (NFLX) latest breakout series, “Bridgerton,” has been officially renewed for season 2 — and it couldn’t come at a more perfect time.

The news, which was announced on Thursday, was not all that surprising given the huge success of the series. In fact, “Bridgerton” is Netflix’s most-watched series premiere to date, with 63 million households projected to have seen at least a portion of the show in its first four weeks, according to the company. (Caveat: Netflix counts a ‘viewer’ as someone who watches at least 2 minutes of a piece of content.)

The smash hit serves as creator Shonda Rhimes’ first show for Netflix, after having departed ABC (DIS) for a five-year, $100 million deal with the streaming giant back in 2017.

Filming is expected to resume this spring in the United Kingdom, although one of the biggest challenges will be filming amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent restrictions have made it quite difficult to shoot more intimate scenes — which have now become a viral staple of the drama series.

In addition to steamy scenes, “Bridgerton” also leans on hundreds of extras to help create the show’s festive ballroom parties — another familiar occurrence that could be compromised due to COVID-19.

(Source: Netflix)
(Source: Netflix)

Still, the renewal underscores Netflix’s impressive commitment to content, which it plans to crank out at a rapid pace. Earlier this month, the platform announced it would be dropping an original film every week in 2021, and just this week crushed subscriber growth estimates in its quarterly earnings report.

Flicks like “Malcom & Marie” starring Zendaya and John David Washington have already received Oscars buzz; while others like “Don’t Look Up” highlight the platform’s ability to nab A-list talent with a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, and more.

But despite all the series and films that will hit the platform in 2021, Netflix still suffered a great loss after saying goodbye to its number one series, “The Office,” on January 1. According to Nielsen’s streaming list, that show saw nearly 1.3 billion in viewing minutes across all 192 episodes between December 7-13 — making it the number one show across all platforms.

The ‘Dunder Mifflin’ classic now lives on competitor Peacock (CMCSA), and it’s actually seeing more viewership on that service compared to Netflix, according to new data from ReelGood, a streaming hub app that hosts over 300 services in one location.

Among 2 million Reelgood users, the share of streams for “The Office” rose to 9.2% from January 1 to 7, topping both “Bridgerton” and “The Mandalorian” for that week on Reelgood’s list of the top 100 most-watched TV shows.

(Source: Reelgood)
(Source: Reelgood)

Beyond that, the number of Reelgood users with a Peacock Free subscription grew by 17% during the week of January 8 verse the week of December 25, while those that had a Peacock Premium account grew by 5% within that same time frame.

The data suggests that “The Office” could be a main driver in users flocking to the platform — and yet another example of things heating up in an already competitive streaming fight.

Alexandra is a producer & entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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