Although Netflix isn’t at a point where it’s putting out a new show every week, the streaming giant’s library is growing at a rapid pace, and it’s getting better and better all the time. Now, for the first time, Netflix has risen above cable’s premium posterchild HBO as the outlet with everyone’s favorite original programming, according to a new survey. Let’s all pour ourselves a plastic cup of Litchfield Penitentiary’s finest toilet hooch in celebration.
The survey in question was put into action by Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley, and this is the first time in the survey’s six years of existence that Netflix has been on top. Of the 2,501 adults polled, around 29% agreed with each other that Netflix was the best place to look for excellence in original programming, while HBO was in a fairly distant place with only 18% of the total vote. That’s a massive victory by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s even more surprising when compared to last year, when Netflix only picked up 23% and HBO topped the survey with 31% of the votes. Apparently everyone who was happy with HBO the last time around found far fewer reasons to be excited about the network in the recent past.
Sadly, it’s too easy to understand how Netflix took the victory by such a wide margin. In the past year (and a couple of days), the streaming service put out one fantastic drama after another, including its highly acclaimed Marvel series (two seasons of Daredevil and one of Jessica Jones), the mind-bending Sense8, and the densely layered Narcos. On the comedy side, subscribers got a fantastic selection of hilarity including the goofy Wet Hot American Summer series, the surprisingly poignant Master of None and the ensemble-boasting Grace and Frankie. Not to mention BoJack Horseman, Season 4 of Longmire, Making a Murderer and the plethora of exclusive movies, stand-up specials and documentaries.
HBO, on the other hand, has been clinging to the dependable Game of Thrones for years now, while rarely finding any other series to complement that epic fantasy’s audience appeal and critical acclaim. Sure, people like me absolutely adore The Leftovers and Silicon Valley, but shows like that (and the award-embracing Veep) don’t bring in the kinds of audiences that would serve as the majority in survey results. The same goes for others like Ballers, which has The Rock but non-universal subject matter, and True Detective, which followed its hugely popular first seasons with a widely panned sophomore effort.
As far as everything that isn’t Netflix and HBO goes, the results were far lower. According to Variety, the next three on the list were Hulu, Amazon and Showtime, which each brought in around 4%-5% of the votes, while Starz had 2% of those surveyed championing that cable network’s original shows. (No one can argue with Ash vs Evil Dead.) And interestingly, the numbers also showed that more Netflix users subscribe to HBO (and Showtime and Starz) than those who don’t have Netflix subscriptions.
It isn’t likely that Fuller House will ever be a major contribution to subscribers cheering the service on, but it also isn’t likely that Netflix will soon fall back into second place in this survey, at least without HBO really stepping up its game (of non-thrones) on every level. To see when the rest of Netflix’s audience-pleasing new shows are coming out, head over to our premiere schedule.