Fifteen years after premiering on Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender has still got it. The anime-flavored fantasy show was the most watched kids’ animated series on Netflix in the U.S. last year, according to research by The NPD Group.
Second on the market research company’s chart was The Boss Baby: Back in Business, a spin-off from Dreamworks Animation’s popular film. Anime classic Naruto was third; The Legend of Korra, a follow-up to Avatar, came eighth.
Notably, Back in Business was the only Netflix exclusive in the top ten (and it was produced by Dreamworks, not in-house). That isn’t wholly surprising, as Netflix originals are still far outnumbered by licensed content on the platform. It will be interesting to see whether the proportion of exclusive shows in this chart increases as the streamer ramps up its animation production.
Another takeaway: relatively old series have staying power. In the top ten, six series premiered in 2010 or earlier (including Avatar). Back in Business, which premiered in April 2018, was the newest show on the chart. Also, as The NPD Group pointed out, nine of the ten series had toys licensed from the original tv shows.
It needs to be stressed that this research isn’t based on official data, as Netflix doesn’t release regular, comprehensive viewership numbers. The NPD Group used a proprietary system to estimate the number of minutes each show was watched.
Here is NPD’s full chart: