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Beyond ‘Reacher’: Amazon Is Positioning Itself as the Ultimate ‘Dad TV’ Streamer

A recent NPR review of the latest season of “Reacher” described the Amazon Prime original as a “prime example of a genre some critics are calling Dad TV.” In fact, there is a larger trend at play here beyond just a single show. Amazon is positioning itself as the most “Dad TV” friendly streaming platform.  Other originals that Amazon has invested in, like “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “Bosch,” fit squarely into this genre that caters to men over 30.

What could be behind this decision to skew programming towards the tastes of middle-aged men? Looking at the audience demographics for original content from other platforms shows how no other platform is targeting this demographic as overtly as Amazon Prime Video. The audience for Prime Video originals was more male-skewing than any other major streamer (57.7%) and 60.7% of the audience for Prime Video originals fell into the over-30 age category.

Disney+ is the only other platform where a majority share of the audience for its original series is male (55.8%). However, this is driven largely by the young male audience for its Marvel and Star Wars originals. Amazon also has shows that cater to young men, notably “Invincible” and the growing “The Boys” franchise, but these wouldn’t be considered “Dad TV.” A whopping 80% of the “Invincible” audience was male but the largest age group of the show’s audience was Gen Z and 64% of the audience for “Invincible” was younger than 30.

The audience for Paramount+ originals is the oldest skewing of these platforms (63.1% over 30), but on the whole the demographics for the platform’s shows skew female.  The platform’s “Sheridan-verse” shows, including “Yellowstone” spinoffs “1923” and “1883,” get about 70-80% of their audience from the over-30 age group but tend to have a more balanced gender split. The exception is “Tulsa King,” which looks like archetypal “Dad TV” with a 75% male and 77% over-30 demographic.

Recently released Nielsen numbers showed “Reacher” was the most-watched show as of mid-December with 1.69 billion minutes. More current demand data shows how the action series has continued to capture audience attention into 2024. More interestingly, the second season of “Reacher” has outperformed its first season, with more than 45 times the average series demand since premiering. It has also surpassed demand for the latest seasons of “Jack Ryan” and “Bosch.” You can joke about “Reacher” being “Dad TV,” but it has also proven to be a massive hit for Amazon Prime Video.

Christofer Hamilton is a senior insights analyst at Parrot Analytics, a WrapPRO partner. For more from Parrot Analytics, visit the Data and Analysis Hub.

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