If supply comes on the heels of demand, Netflix’s Original series Sense8 is clearly the exception to the rule. This may not come as a surprise to fans of the streaming giant’s most popular canceled television showpiece as three years after its release Sense8 remains one of Netflix’s least visible originals, especially where marketing is concerned.
Its cancellation sighting insufficient viewership seems at odds with the basics of television supply and demand norms, at least according to the world’s first and only cross-platform, global content demand measurement metric. While numbers and the bottom line are always sighted as the reason why a groundbreaking, big-budget series can no longer continue, Parrot’s findings instead point to a failure to supply what so many subscribers around the world seem to demand and have demanded since the show’s inception in 2015.
How is Demand Calculated?
As a part of a television landscape that is increasingly becoming more and more diversified and fragmented. Neilson’s panel and survey-based audience measurement have proved inadequate in keeping up with a large number of television shows available through a plethora of streaming platforms. Not to mention the modern viewing habits which not only include television sets but also watching content on different devices including mobile phones and tabs.
This is where Parrot Analytics comes in and offers a demand measurement metric which allows networks to identify a show’s success in over 250 countries, even prior to its release. And it appears the Wachowski sci-fi drama has a large global audience that’s growing by the day and has been and is currently among the Top 20 Digital Original Series in some of the largest television markets in the world. What’s more curious is that the Top 20 list compiled by Parrot Analytics not only includes Netflix Originals but series on other platforms including Amazon, Hulu, HBO, YouTube Red and CBS All Access to name a few.
What makes the “demand expressions “calculated by Parrot Analytics a more cohesive picture of actual audience appetite is that in addition to considering a show’s viewership numbers ( for platforms which make the data public), it also takes into account illegal downloads as well as a show’s popularity on social media, subscriptions and other means in which audiences embrace a series such as blogging, reviewing, recommending and file sharing habits. Each demand expression also has a value, so streaming or watching a show earns more points on the metric than tweeting about the same or liking a Facebook post related to the show, as some expressions are obviously more substantial than others.
This is what sets Sense8’s place in the Top 10 Digital Original Series in most major markets and countries in various years a true revelation as it is the ONLY canceled television series on the list. And in nearly every country it stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the world’s highest-rated television programs including Netflix’s own Stranger Things, The Crown and House of Cards and controversial new hit 13 Reasons Why. There are even instances when Sense8 tops the aforementioned shows even when an impending release of a new season of the competing show is a few weeks away.
Sense8 first premiered in Netflix on June 5th, 2015 although the advertising and marketing of the show is abysmal when compared to other Netflix Originals, Sense8 earned the 2nd spot in the Top 20 Digital Original Series in the year of its release in USA, France, Mexico and Brazil according to the demand report by Parrot Analytics and 4th most popular series in the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany with a 5th place in Sweden. While the show was renewed for a second season in August 2015, the numbers continued to rise well in to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter reports of 2016 maintaining its top 20 position in USA, UK, France, Russia, Mexico, Sweden and Brazil while also placing in the Top 20 in additional TV markets in Japan and Australia.
The second season of Sense8 premiered on May 5th, 2017 and although the show was cancelled three weeks later, on June 1st, it ranked among the Top 20 Digital Original Series Demand reports in Germany, France, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and UK and the USA, where it was in the Top 10. Parrot Analytics released its 2018 first quarterly report in March and Sense8 once again is among the Top 20 most in-demand digital original series, nearly a year after its cancellation, in the USA, Greece, South Korea, Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, and Switzerland. If there was ever an instance when strength in numbers comes into play, it is when a show that is billed as a niche market experiment goes on to garner a truly global audience.
#Respect the 8
REAL challenging science fiction is such a rare animal in movies and TV. We must always embrace and nurture it when it comes. I will truly miss #Sense8 and I applaud the sheer brass balls and ovaries it took to bring it to market. These people are WARRIOS. #Respectthe8 https://t.co/1OmclSOPfI
— Thorne_Identity (@GeoffThorne) May 17, 2018
Marvel’s Black Panther’s Quest showrunner and Hollywood screenwriter Geoff Thorne is not alone in his sentiment as hundreds of thousands of fans around the world campaigned and petitioned for the show’s renewal due to its popularity. While other Netflix Originals have been canceled since June 2017, too many in fact, these cancellations failed to garner the “populist uprising” that overturned Sense8’s cancellation and green-lighted a special finale episode in a mere month.
As June 8th and the release of this hard-won episode draws nearer, it is interesting to consider how Netflix would measure the success or the demand for this Top 20 digital original it claimed had no audience to sustain its production costs. Especially in the wake of news that Netflix surpassed Disney and Comcast in stock value and became the largest media company on the globe just this month. The question of affordability and financial viability of a show as popular as Sense8 seems almost moot.
not really. While I agree that Sense8 is a boundary breaker, saying scifi is traditiaonly without depth or character, just reveals that someone isn't reading or hasn't read enough good science fiction.
— Thorne_Identity (@GeoffThorne) June 7, 2018
Fans of the globetrotting series, on the other hand, are hoping to convince Netflix of the show’s overwhelming demand on June 8th in hopes of securing a third season for the series. Encouraged by Sense8 Italian producer Robert Malerba and Lana Wachowski who penned the 3rd season of Sense8 because she believes in the power of the fans who won back the series last June, the numbers will do the talking once more when the “Finale” premiers on Netflix.
Special advanced screenings of the new episode premiered at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on May 25th with the attendance of cast members and 700 lucky fans to benefit the Emily’s List Organization. Two more special screenings are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil as organizers prepare to cater to high fan demand for advanced premiers due to the show’s global popularity. Whether Netflix chooses to capitalize on Sense8’s global appeal remains to be seen but as fans around the world prepare to rally to show record numbers for the show’s return, it is fitting that Lana Wachowski’s words when asked of the possibility of Sense8 Season 3 -” I Don’t Give Up on Love” are not taken at face value as it may well be the only Bottom Line that matters when it comes to Sense8 and its future. Especially considering the episode’s title ” Amor Vincit Omnia”, the popular Latin phrase meaning “Love Conquers All”.