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Revealed: The most (and least) popular TV streaming services

  • Netflix named as the most popular streaming service according to analysis of 16,000 titles across IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes reviews
  • Amazon Prime takes last place as the least favourite streaming service, despite having the most content
  • Disney + comes in second position, while Apple TV + takes third
  • 17, February, 2021, LONDON –

    Now more than ever, Brits are bingeing shows on streaming services to keep themselves entertained, but which platform is the most popular?

    New research from personal finance comparison site,, has found which streaming services are the best based on the popularity and success of 16,000 shows ratings on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

    The most popular platform
    Netflix took the crown by producing content that both critics and day-to-day viewers love, with a combined average score of 83%. IMDB scoring, which is based upon everyday viewers’ ratings, shows that audiences rated Netflix’s top titles 76%. While critics reviews, which determine Rotten Tomatoes’ scores, ranked Netflix’s content 89%.

    Netflix’s hard-hitting documentaries such as Strong Island and Lenox Hill made the top of Rotten Tomatoes’ list, with 100% ratings each. However, IMDB extends its highest scores to Our Planet (93%), Rick and Morty (92%) and a host of foreign series – including the popular Japanese anime, Attack on Titan (89%).

    Aside from both audience and critics ratings, Netflix also has the most subscribers, with 204 million members as of January 2021. Predictions suggest that the platform will have 274 million by 2025, but if the average rise per quarter continues, Netflix could hit this milestone by the end of 2022.

    The least popular platform
    The lowest rated streaming service was Amazon Prime, despite having the most content available to its viewers – just over 20,000 titles for an estimated 150 million global subscribers. The streaming platform got an average score of 78% when both ratings were combined. The analysis found that the top titles on Amazon Prime had an average score of 74% on IMDB and 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. The 2016 hit series Fleabag was the highest rated title among both audiences and critics, with an average rating of 94%. The lowest, however, was Gerard Butler’s 2017 blockbuster Geostorm.

    Second least favourite service
    Apple TV + has been rated the second least popular streaming service, with its content receiving an average of 78% for its 56 original titles. The streaming service managed to scrape third place through a higher rating of 83% from Rotten Tomatoes, in comparison to 73% from IMDB. Just under two thirds (62%) of its 2.25 million users are subscribed to a year-long free trial, which has been extended twice. Although ratings are decent it will be interesting to see if customers stay when their free trial is over.

    Apple TV +’s Truth Be Told was one of the most divisive shows analysed, with one of the largest differences in ratings between viewers and critics. While the series has an audience scoring of 71% on IMDB, this stands in stark contrast to the relatively low 13% it was given by critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

    Second most popular service
    Disney + came second on both IMDB and Rotten Tomato with a combined ranking of 81%, meaning its shows and films are highly scored by both critics and audience viewers alike. This could likely be a reason behind it’s recent jump in global subscribers, which now sits at 95 million, making this the platform with the third highest number of subscribers despite the service only being around for a year.

    Wandavision, The Mandalorian and Soul were among the highest rated on the platform, while the live-action adaptation of Lion King (2019) was one of the lowest rated titles in the top 100, with an average rating of 61%.

    Methodology: scraped Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB for Tomatometer and IMDB scores for all titles on each selected streaming platform, and matched them based on ratings per title. To maintain accuracy, the IMDB score was mathematically adjusted to percentage, and then compared to Rotten Tomatoes ratings. Missing titles from any of the platforms were removed, as well as titles that were not considered to have a reliable enough score (ie. yet to be released titles).

    An average was calculated from both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB scores for the titles left in our samples, and these numbers were used to find the overall ranking for each streaming platform when compared against one another.



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