The impact of Pokémon GO on global demand for the TV series

Executive editors Natan Edelsburg (@twatan) and Adam Flomenbaum (@flobombin), and guest contributors, bring the inside track on the latest developments in the TV space.

Parrot Analytics Data Scientist Johan Chan

Parrot Analytics' Data Scientist takes an in-depth look at the effect of Pokémon GO on the audience demand for Pokémon’s titles across the globe.

The ‘Poké-fever’ epidemic is spreading worldwide, and it looks like nothing can stop us from trying to ‘catch’em all!’

Pokémon GO was officially released on July 6th in a select number of countries and is quickly becoming more accessible in other markets. Characteristic of an epidemic, Poké-fever is spreading beyond the gaming industry. Indeed, within the first week of Pokémon GO’s release, Spotify announced that global streaming of the Pokémon theme “Gotta Catch’em All!” had increased more than 362%, with 190,000 playlists containing the word Pokémon in the title. There is no doubt that the TV industry is also feeling the effects of this phenomenon. According to a Netflix statement, Pokémon titles have become some of the most popular titles in countries where Netflix has them available.

Poké-Fever goes global:

At Parrot Analytics, we empirically investigated the impact of the game on its TV series and quantify the actual audience demand for the Pokémon show around the world. This analysis was made possible by a globally comparable audience demand measure for TV content call "Demand Rating™".

In this analysis, we compared the audience demand for Pokémon before and after the first international release of Pokémon GO on the July 6th, 2016 in a selection of 15 markets during the month of July 2016.

At first glance, it is clear to see that Pokémon GO’s release had a noticeable positive impact on the audience demand for Pokémon titles as shown by the increase in Demand Rating™ for the TV series before and after the game’s release. Indonesian and Japanese audiences seemed to have the most demand for it amongst the set of markets we analyzed. As expected, the demand for Pokémon titles in a country where the game is available was dramatically higher than in a country where it is still not available (or only recently released e.g. France).

The largest increase in audience demand for Pokémon was seen in Indonesia, followed by New Zealand. These countries had the biggest changes in Demand Rating™ before and after the game’s release. This highlights a huge opportunity in tapping into the current high audience demand for Pokémon TV content in these countries. The massive increase in demand for Pokémon in Indonesia might be due to the fact that Indonesia was, for a while, the only country in Asia were the mobile application was (unofficially) fully playable.

Growing global audience demand for Pokémon TV:

Even though the increase in demand for Pokémon titles is a worldwide phenomenon, audiences in various markets have reacted slightly differently to the Pokémon GO mania.

In the case of the United States for instance, the demand for Pokémon titles continued to increase for days after the game’s release - reaching much higher levels of audience demand than prior to the game’s release.

If we zoom into other markets, we observe different patterns of growing audience demand for the show. For example, in South Korea, two noticeable spikes in Demand Rating™ coincide with glitches found in the game’s geo-localisation. In fact, Pokémon GO had not actually been released in South Korea but theseglitches had made the game potentially playable around South Korea’s Sokcho and Busan areas. Alternatively, in France, the two highest spikes in Demand Rating™ in the chart above coincided with the announcement of Pokémon GO’s release the 21st of July which was then delayed to 24th of July due to the current urgent state’s restrictions happening in France.

After investigating the demand for Pokémon titles across several markets around the world, we can positively assert that there is growing global audience demand for the Pokémon series following the first release of Pokémon GO on the 6th of July. This presents huge opportunities for Pokémon content stakeholders in engaging with the growing demand for the series worldwide. As the game is released in more countries, we can only expect global audiences to increasingly express their demand in the TV series as they discover, re-connect and engage in the world of Pokémon.

About Demand Rating™:

By capturing an unprecedented range of online demand expression platforms that include video streaming, social media, blogs and micro-blogging platforms, fan and critic rating sites, file-sharing sites and peer-to-peer protocols, Parrot Analytics is enabling the TV industry to compare audience demand for content across all distribution platforms in all markets around the world, on the same measurement scale. Its metrics such as Demand Rating™ enables the comparison of audience demand for TV content across markets, helps content producers, distributors and acquirers empirically evaluate the popularity of content in specific markets – regardless of platform.

About the author:

Johan Chan is a Data Scientist at Parrot Analytics Limited, where he develops artificial intelligence solutions for unraveling the hidden stories behind global audience demand data for TV content.

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