Documentaries become fastest-growing streaming genre

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — It appears documentary series are becoming a new way for many of us to escape at this point in the pandemic.

New data released by Parrot Analytics shows documentaries became the fastest-growing genre on streaming platforms in 2020 – and this year, that trend is continuing to climb.

“I think because people aren’t able to go out and experience these, we’re all kind of living vicariously through our streaming services. As evidenced by things like, ‘My Octopus Teacher’, which was on Netflix and made a huge splash — because I think everyone was missing travel and swimming and exploring,” said Nate Luebbe, a documentary filmmaker originally from Evergreen, Colorado.

The data from Parrot Analytics looked at insights and views from several streaming platforms and found between January of 2018 and March of 2021, the number of documentary series soared by 63%, while demand for them skyrocketed by 142%.

“My guess is there was such a big increase in demand – but not an equivalent increase in production – because production was shut down. A lot of those big companies were forced to close their studios and production team weren’t able to create it,” Luebbe said.

Luebbe and his crew were fortunate and able to film their documentary, ‘Light Side Up‘, during the pandemic.

“We all had to get COVID tests regularly — both before traveling and after traveling. We had to quarantine mandatorily. You know, we were a small team, anyway, so we were just planning to stick to ourselves. We were fortunate our documentary was out in nature, so we weren’t close to people,” Luebbe said.

While documentaries are seeing a spike in popularity, the same data from Parrot Analytics shows a dip in viewership in other genres such as drama, action/adventure and horror.

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