Netflix’s Reality TV Bet Paying Off As Streaming Reality Shows More Popular Than Ever

It was just last a year ago that Netflix said they weren’t too interested in reality television shows because of their “disposable” nature. But they they did an about face later in 2016, announcing they were investing heavily in reality television, bringing “about 20” reality shows to the service in 2017.

Now, new numbers are showing that Netflix’s change in mindset was probably a good idea. In a new study from 7Park Data, it’s revealed that reality TV streaming is on the rise across the board – up almost 30% at Netflix alone. Over at Hulu (home of several popular reality shows like The Amazing Race), reality TV viewership is up 10.3% from one year ago.

That makes reality TV among the fastest growing genres at either service.

The rise is coming at a good time for Netflix. Their new Ultimate Beastmaster international competition series (produced by Sylvester Stallone) is getting a good deal of early attention, and is expected to be a hit when it debuts. With CBS doing an exclusive season of Big Brother on their All Access service that was well received, it’s clear that almost every streaming service is turning to reality shows to increase their content library.

David Broome, co-producer of Netflix’s Beastmaster, says the service is the perfect home for this show. “I believe this will be a game-changer within the industry,” he recently said. “It’s not just that it’s the first reality competition for Netflix, this is a reality competition filmed at a scope, scale and creative design that is tailor-made for a global platform like Netflix.”

As every streaming service is looking to increase their international profile, expect to see more “international” style reality shows that incorporate contestants from across the globe.

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Artie Beaty

Artie Beaty is a freelance writer from North Carolina who follows the world of streaming closely on a daily basis. Contact him at or on Twitter @AboutCharlotte.
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