Netflix finds Scotland’s funny bone as London gets dramatic
Staff Reporter | On 02, Apr 2017
Scotland streams more comedy shows on Netflix than anywhere else in the UK, according to rare data released by the streaming service.
The VOD giant is almost as famous for its tight-lipped approach to viewing figures as its big-budget original series, refusing to let on how many people are watching its most popular programmes and movies. All we know for sure is that people apparently really like watching Adam Sandler.
Now, though, Netflix has unveiled its first ever data for UK streaming. Talking to the Associated Press, Netflix has revealed that comedy shows are particularly popular in Scotland and Wales. Scottish subscribers are a notable fan of Orange Is the New Black, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Glaswegian hit Still Game, while Welsh viewers are more inclined to watch The Big Bang Theory and Barry’s own Gavin & Stacey.
The Midlands, meanwhile, is mostly fond of fantasy programmes, with the North-East dominated by spookier fare, such as American Horror Story.
People in the North-West prefer to keep their heads in the real world, with documentaries such as Making a Murderer proving primarily popular, alongside reality shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race. South-East subscribers swoon over more romantic series, and those that skew to a younger crowd, from Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl to Skins. Over in the South-West, sci-fi is top of the watchlist, with popular series including Stranger Things, Doctor Who and Marvel;s Daredevil.
In London, drama reigns supreme, with House of Cards and The Crown suitably streamed across the capital. Northern Ireland also opts for drama more than any other genre, binge-watching through shows such as Suits, Sons of Anarchy and The Good Wife.
The data is the result of research analysing Netflix viewing by UK subscribers in the six months to March 2017.
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, said Breaking Bad was the breakthrough moment for the service’s popularity in Britain.
“Breaking Bad was a breaking point for Netflix in the UK when we started premiering new episodes,” he said. “It accelerated our business and became the way they identified with us. They didn’t need to know how Netflix worked, they just wanted to see Breaking Bad. So it was exciting for us to do that and then premiere Better Call Saul (Breaking Bad’s spin-off show).”
Indeed, this research is released in the weeks leading up to Better Call Saul’s return for a third season. It also follows the more controversial return of Black Mirror last year – a Channel 4 production that moved to Netflix.
Sarandos commented that he was proud that the site had given Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi anthology a global audience.
“We took Black Mirror and shows that were conceived as local shows and made them more global,” he said. “Charlie Brooker is a real genius and we were able to give him a bigger canvas to work on, to make Black Mirror into what it has become, which is a real global sensation. I would say it was a UK hit and a global cult before. It’s now a global hit.”
Netflix, meanwhile, is increasingly teaming up with UK broadcasters to co-produce series, which it then releases outside of the UK as a Netflix-branded original. The latest of these is The Last Kingdom, which is currently airing its second season on BBC Two in the UK, with episodes arriving internationally on Netflix the day after broadcast.