Streaming Platforms See Decline in Demand for Comedy Genre | Charts

If the comedy genre was once the flagship of TV entertainment in the era of linear TV, the situation has changed considerably in recent years. In the age of streaming platforms, while many incorporate comedic elements or blend comedy with other genres, fewer new releases adhere to the traditional definition of a sitcom, like “Friends” or “The Office.”

More striking is the decrease in demand for the genre over two years. Between the first quarters of 2022 and 2024, the comedy genre’s demand share fell from 22% to 17.1%. Over the same period, the number of shows labeled as comedies available on SVOD platforms experienced only a slight decrease from 26.9% to 25.8%.

This indicates that a sudden decline in supply of comedy titles was not the catalyst for the drop off in demand share, but rather a flattening of interest in the genre. It’s worth noting that this data reflects the number of shows in which comedy is the main genre, such as sitcoms, and excludes shows with comedic elements but that primarily belong to another genre, like many superhero series and dramedies.

Among the main SVOD platforms, Max experienced the biggest drop in demand for comedy TV. In the first quarter of 2022 (when the platform was still named HBO Max), comedies accounted for 35% of the platform’s TV demand share. In 2024 this has fallen to 25%. This shift is largely attributed to the inclusion of many unscripted series from Discovery+ when the two platforms merged to create Max in 2023, lowering the overall importance of the genre for the platform.

Most of the other major platforms also presented a decline when comparing the first quarters of 2022 and 2024. Exceptions were Netflix, which experienced the highest increase of demand for comedies from 20% to 25%, and Disney+, which experienced a smaller increase from 28.5% to 29.9%.

The growth of the comedy genre on Netflix is particularly notable considering that the share of comedies available on Netflix dropped from 18% to 16% of the total TV catalog during this period. Despite the decline in volume, audience interest actually rose. This suggests that Netflix has become more successful in selecting licensed comedy content with mass appeal, such as “Young Sheldon,” and “Tacoma FD,” some of the most popular comedies on the platform.

Despite the overall decrease in demand across several of the main streaming players, the genre is still very relevant to the industry. Comedies were responsible for more than 25% of the TV demand of all major platform catalogs but two (Prime Video and Peacock). Comedy is also the most in-demand genre on most of these platforms, most notably Paramount+, where it represents almost 40% of the catalog demand.

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