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'Masters Of The Air' Takes Off, Lifting Predecessors Higher

Apple TV+’s Masters of the Air always had big shoes to fill, drawing inevitable comparisons to its iconic forebears — HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific. After roughly a decade in development, the new series finally debuted on Apple TV+ on January 26, and has been among the top 3% of shows across all platforms with global audiences since then.

Parrot Analytics' audience demand data reveals that the marketing campaign and debut of Masters of the Air — which carried a hefty reported budget of over $250M — has significantly boosted global demand for Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

The arrival of Masters of the Air, and its role in reigniting audience attention for its predecessor series, highlights the complex interplay between new content, legacy franchises, and the strategic reach of different streaming services. At its core, it reflects the benefits of the streaming halo effect.

The "Netflix Effect" and Trailer Bumps

  • Two key factors appear to have fueled this resurgence. First, the "Netflix effect" played a crucial role after Band of Brothers and The Pacific landed on Netflix on September 15, 2023 (they were also available on Max).
  • Within days global demand surged for both series, surging to 23.29x more than the average series worldwide for Band of Brothers, and 16.87x for The Pacific. This marked the highest demand for The Pacific during the period analyzed.
  • The second factor came in November with the release of the official teaser for Masters of the Air. Shortly after, both Band of Brothers and The Pacific experienced renewed interest with global audiences. The Pacific rose up to 14.97x on November 19 and Band of Brothers jumped to 18.9x on November 27.
  • Three days after the official trailer dropped, The Pacific reached a high of 14.05x on December 9, while Band of Brothers shot up to 18.77x on December 11. Demand for the both shows continued to increase steadily until the actual debut of the new series on January 26.

Predecessors Soar Higher

  • Though Masters of the Air briefly surpassed Band of Brothers in global demand upon its release, the latter quickly regained its standing as the new series drove renewed interest to the legacy show.
  • Masters of the Air reached a peak of 20.79x the day after its debut, steadily lifting Band of Brothers, which climbed to 23.54x by February 4 — just slightly ahead of its post-Netflix peak.
  • Masters of the Air is only half way through its run, and weekly released series often peak after their season finales, so the new show still has a lot of runway to grow its global audience.
  • The Pacific also benefited, peaking at 16.24x on January 28.
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It’s evident that both the move to Netflix and the release of Masters of the Air lifted demand for Band of Brothers and The Pacific. For those who question whether HBO should have kept the franchise exclusive, a comparative look at audience demographic data can shed further light.

Different Platforms, Different Audiences

  • A look at global audience demographics for Max, Apple TV+, and Netflix highlights their distinct appeal. Max and Netflix share similar popularity among Zennials (23-29 year olds), with 28% of their demand coming from this demographic.
  • While all three platforms have a close gender share breakdown, Netflix leans slightly female (54.4%), contrasting with the male-dominated Max and Apple TV+ (50.5% and 52% respectively). Linear HBO has also always been more male-leaning.
  • Apple TV+’s slightly older and more male audience should make it the prime target of a World War II-era series.

Considering these demographics, HBO's licensing decision to bring Band of Brothers and The Pacific to Netflix becomes strategically astute. Netflix's wider reach exposes these classic series to a younger, potentially untapped audience, possibly fostering future franchise loyalty.

With Masters of the Air's finale still weeks away, questions remain. Will the newly-introduced audience, captivated by Band of Brothers and The Pacific, migrate to Masters of the Air? This potential domino effect could solidify the franchise's multi-generational appeal and further extend its legacy.

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