With subscription figures no longer the peaks that streaming platforms achieved at the start of the pandemic, 2022 represented a year of records in terms of viewing hours. In the midst of a battle to maintain and add users, the companies opted for unexpected measures -such as the one announced by Netflix in October of a cheaper plan with advertising-, but also for original content that meant for almost all the competitors in the market to break some record in their history.
Although from day one the titles were eye-catching (HBO Max launched on New Years “Return to Hogwarts”, the special that brought together the cast of “Harry Potter” for its twentieth anniversary), it was in the second half of 2022, especially in its last months, where the ‘hits’ appeared. In October, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” became the best opening in Prime Video history and the same happened for HBO Max with “House of the Dragon”, the spin-off of “Game of Thrones”. On Apple TV+ the documentary about the selena gomez mental health, in November, and the film “Emancipation” with Will Smith, in December, gave his catalog a gigantic exposure. While Netflix managed to completely change the Top 5 of the most watched series in its history with season 4 of “Stranger Things” and the debutants “Merlina” and “Dahmer”.
Many of these titles reflect formulas that have worked in the past on streaming services: sequels, content derived from a well-known franchise, true crime stories, celebrity biographies and the increasingly frequent ‘crossovers’ from movie stars to movie stars. the ‘on demand’ video grid. Follow-ups to some previous hits also stood out. The second seasons of “Bridgerton”, “Young Highnesses”, “Chucky”, “Alice in Borderland” and “Euphoria” were examples of this, as were the numbers achieved by “Elite 5 and 6”, “Who Killed Sara 3 ″, “Emily in Paris 3″, “The Umbrella Academy 3″, “Cobra Kai 5″, “The Crown 5″ and the two volumes of the penultimate season of “Stranger Things”.
But just as there were stories that continued, there were also those that said goodbye after a long time showing the preference of the public. “Ozark” closed with a season 4 that was among the most watched of the year on Netflix, “Better Call Saul” said goodbye in its critically acclaimed season 6 and “The Walking Dead” arrived in November to close its cycle with a season 11 hosted on Star+.
HBO Max kicked off 2022 with high stakes from day 1. On New Year’s Eve, the “Harry Potter” cast reunion special premiered. But in August his silver bullet would be revealed: the “House of the Dragon” series, which gave continuity to the “Game of Thrones” story.
Among the new fictions of 2022, the imprint of the South Korean industry was once again felt, which in the previous year made history with “The Squid Game”. “We are dead” is already the new conceit of ‘zombie’ fans and “Woo, an extraordinary lawyer” demonstrated all the power of K-dramas. “Inventing Anna”, released in February, meant a new success in the Netflix alliance with Shonda Rhymes, but there were also titles like “Red” on Disney + and “Sandman” and “Hearstopper” on Netflix that exceeded expectations. Although the real surprise of the year was “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”.
Produced by Ryan Murphy, another conventional TV genius who allied himself with Netflix, the series was launched without much fuss, but it triggered a true phenomenon around the figure of the criminal nicknamed the ‘Milwaukee Cannibal’. After its premiere in September, two documentaries took over to continue fueling interest in the nefarious character: “Conversations with Murderers: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes” came to Netflix on October 7 and “Jeffrey Dahmer: The Mind of a Monster ” arrived on HBO Max on November 29. The launches were not shots in the air, because from the series, Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the most searched topics of 2022 on Google: he was ranked 9 globally along with traditionally massive searches such as the soccer world cup and the most recent version of the iPhone.
In Peru, Dahmer was the second most searched person of the year on Google below the late Queen Elizabeth II. Due to this interest, the conversion of “Monster” into a special series dedicated to characters similar to Dahmer was confirmed, although other ‘monsters’ were already the inspiration for streaming titles this year: “The Tinder scammer” was a success after its release in January and “The Angel of Death” in October, did the same with the terrifying case of the murderous nurse Charlie Cullen.
Another formula that was constantly repeated this 2022 in streaming was that of nostalgia. Titles such as “The Father of the Bride” were revived (on HBO Max and with the actress of Peruvian origin Isabela Merced in the cast), “Los Teletubbies” were updated, “La casa de papel” returned with a Korean version, the eighties “Willow” became a series on Disney+, the classic “Pinocchio” was “reinvented” twice (a film by Robert Zemeckis, another by Guillermo del Toro) and the two-thousander Lindsay even left her winter quarters Lohan for a Christmas tape.
We also saw important figures in conventional cinema bet on streaming. Tim Burton produced “Merlina”, a series in which he directed 4 episodes and which closes the year as Netflix’s second biggest hit of 2022. The Russo brothers, responsible for “The Avengers”, released the disappointing “The Gray Man” with Ryan Gosling in July, while Sylvester Stallone starred in “Samaritan” for Prime Video in August.
The celebrity hook was also used to promote the release of biopics like “Mike Beyond Tyson” and “Pam and Tommy” on Star+, “Bosé” on Paramount+ and “Blonde” about Marilyn Monroe on Netflix. But also documentaries such as “Harry and Meghan”, the most viewed streaming production of the year in the United Kingdom; and reality shows like “Los Montaner” (Star+), “Soy Georgina” (Netflix) and the return of the Kardashians in a new stage revealed in April and continued in September on Star+.
Jeffrey Dahmer’s series also sparked a phenomenon in search engines. According to the 2022 Google Trends roundup, ‘Milwaukee cannibal’ was one of the top 10 searches of the year globally. Evan Peters, the interpreter of the character, was also positioned among the most sought after actors.
Disney+ continued apace with its two main weapons: the heroes -“Moon Knight”, “She Hulk” and “Ms. Marvel” were its stars this year- and the expanded universe of “Star Wars”, represented this 2022 by “Obi Wak Kenobi”, “Andor” and “Star Wars: Stories of the Jedi”. Prime Video also opted for the world of heroes, albeit in a bloody parody mode, with “The Boys 3” and Netflix ventured into video game adaptations with a failed “Resident Evil” that was canceled after a first season, a debut with Bad footing also had “Paper Girls” (from Prime Video) and “Batgirl”, whose project was canceled in August, exposing some disputes about the future of HBO Max in favor of another streaming service called Discovery +.
What does not go back is the trend imposed by the pandemic to immediately include its streaming release in the cycle of a film. Thus, titles that premiered on the billboard in 2022 were soon on an ‘on demand’ video platform: “The Batman”, “Lightyear”, “Elvis”, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, “Fantastic Beasts: The secrets of Dumbledore”, “Don’t worry, honey”, “Black Adam” and the blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” are a small sample of a strategy that has already become customary.
Spanish-speaking productions continued to bet on series with telenovela touches (such as “Palpito”, Dark Desire” and “Madre there are only two”) and, of course, telenovelas in their natural state. This year the ‘pull’ of “I am Betty, the ugly one”, one of the hits that Netflix released from its catalog in July, to Prime Video, drew attention. Although the big ‘N’ has continued to give content to melodrama fans with titles like “Pasión de gavilanes 2″ and “La reina del sur 3″, which will be released on December 30. A new container in our language also appeared in the region: VIX+ has been available for subscription since July and has announced a very competitive grid for 2023, which includes, in addition to original content, broadcasts of live sporting events.
The trend of providing subscribers with live content seems to be one of the main cards to be played in the new year. Already in 2022 they gave a small sample of it HBO Max with the acquisition of the rights to the Latin Grammy, which could be followed live in November from their service, Star+ with various channels of sports disciplines and Disney+ and Prime Video with live concerts. from artists like Elton John, Tini Stoessel and Maluma. In fact, the new year already has a lot of it guaranteed with the broadcast rights to Viña del Mar by Star+ and the Lizzo show with which HBO Max closes 2022. Let the surprises of 2023 begin!
These are some of the main releases already announced for January 2023: Netflix will start the year with the reboot of “That 90’s show” and the second season of “Sky Rojo”. HBO Max will premiere “The Last of Us” and “Velma”. While Disney+ will go with “The Bad Batch” and Prime Video with “After: infinite love”.