The digital streaming market has never been more competitive than it has in 2018, with all of the major players investing heavily in original programming.
Netflix is reportedly outspending every studio in Hollywood to the tune of $13 billion in 2018, while Amazon is sinking a billion of its own dollars into a live-action adaption of Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, money alone doesn’t equal positive reviews from critics and fans.
In a recent study from Streaming Observer, the outlet discovered that when measuring the positive reviews for shows from the top streaming services and cable networks, Netflix’s shows trailed those from HBO, Hulu, AMC, Starz, Amazon and FX in terms of critical acclaim (although not by much.)
Streaming Observer obtained these results by taking “data from loyal critic sites Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic breaks down its ratings for shows by season, so we averaged all seasons for an overall score. We then took the average scores for all shows by a particular channel or service to get its overall score,” according to the site. You can see their findings in the graph below:
- HBO: 75
- Hulu: 74
- AMC: 73
- Amazon: 72
- Starz: 72
- FX: 71
- Netflix: 70
- Showtime: 67
- USA: 64
The results are interesting, since Netflix’s VP of original content, Cindy Holland, said that “quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive” at the 2018 Television Critics Association summer press tour – but the reviews for Netflix’s shows don’t always bear that out.
Sure, Netflix has every right to boast this year, especially with their 112 Emmy nominations, which broke HBO’s 17-year streak at the top. However, with Netflix releasing over 700 original programs in 2018 alone, the streaming service has a lot more opportunities to rack up nominations with its eligible shows than other outlets, who produce and market far fewer series in any given year.
While it’s great to have so much new content coming out every week from a service like Netflix from creators across the globe, there still seems to be a disconnect between the streaming service’s efforts to combine quality with quantity – at least in terms of critical reception. In Streaming Observers opinion, Netflix is toward the rear of the pack when it comes to pure quality of its original series, seemingly suffering from its focus on churning out as many shows as it can. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
David Griffin still watches DuckTales in his pajamas with a cereal bowl in hand. He’s also the TV Editor for IGN. Say hi on Twitter.