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NEW! Netflix 2022: Selling Your Documentary To Netflix!

Documentary Idea & Business Development
Most Popular Documentary Sub-Genres in the U.S. Ranked by Parrot Analytics

#distribution #filmmaking #documentaries



Guest Post by: Peter Hamilton, Documentary Business Strategist

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What kinds of documentaries do consumers prefer? 

And how are their tastes evolving?

Research firm Parrot Analytics recently quantified consumer demand for six documentary sub-genres.

The highest ranked was True Crime, followed by Science, History, Social Issue, Nature and Sports.

Parrot compared 2019-20 with 2020-21, revealing a big jump in demand across all genres, led by True Crime (+60%).

Here's the chart:


Remember that Netflix and the streamers aren’t rated by Nielsen like the channels.

Parrot scoops up consumers’ ‘demand expressions’ for documentaries from across the online universe. It then weighs them: for example, a download-to-own earns a multiple of an Instagram “like.”

Of course, just because a documentary is in a popular sub-genre doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be a hit.

The message from Parrot’s analysis is NOT that the Nature documentary that you are developing will earn around a third of the audience of a biopic about a mass-murder.

Success depends on the originality of your story, your compelling pitch, and on the immersive quality of the delivered production.

You can learn much, much more about how to develop and pitch your documentary in my Selling to Netflix course


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About The Author

Peter Hamilton is a media & business strategist and former CBS executive who has directed his New York-based international consulting firm for 30+ years.

His clients have included NBC, A+E Networks, National Geographic Channels, Global Canal+ and BBC; the Rockefeller Foundation; and governments, including Singapore’s IMDA. He has planned and helped launch dozens of channels, notably for Discovery International.

Peter is the founder, editor & publisher of Documentary Business, giving weekly insider analysis to 20,000+ executives and producers worldwide.

He is the executive producer of Season of the Osprey for PBS Nature and worldwide distribution.

His office, Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc produces numerous industry reports/guides, including a brand new resource-packed course: Netflix 2022: Selling Your Documentary To Netflix! 

Hamilton was educated at The Wharton School, UPenn (MBA) and UMelbourne and regularly presents at major conferences, including MIPDoc and Sunny Side of the Doc.


NEW! 2022 Netflix: Selling Your Documentary To Netflix


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