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YouTube Red's New Web Series Tops the Streaming Charts Ahead of Netflix and Hulu

By Aric Jenkins May 16, 2018

A new web series from YouTube’s premium steaming service suggests there is potential for another competitor in the streaming wars.

YouTube Red’s Cobra Kai, a spinoff of the Karate Kid films, topped the streaming charts from May 6 to 12 — beating out the likes of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Arrested Development, according to data from Parrot Analytics obtained by Variety.

According to Parrot’s data, it’s the first time a YouTube Red series outperformed competitors on other streaming services and Cobra Kai is now the platform’s best performing show to date since its rebranded launch in October 2015.

Cobra Kai, which reprises the Karate Kid franchise’s lead actors, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, garnered more than double the demand of The Handmaid’s Tale on May 7. YouTube’s series also drew 54% more demand than 13 Reasons Why and 121% more than another Netflix original, Lost in Space. Throughout the measured week, Cobra Kai was only beaten once on May 9 by 13 Reasons Why.

Parrot measured demand by surveying video streaming data, social media, photo sharing, blogging platforms, peer-to-peer protocols, and streaming sites where users can download content, according to Variety. YouTube Red does not release audience data for its content, similar to some competitors like Netflix.

In total for the week of May 6 to 12, Cobra Kai averaged 46.9 million demand expressions compared to 40.2 million for 13 Reasons Why, 26.8 million for Arrested Development and 25.1 million for The Handmaid’s Tale.

YouTube Red premiered Cobra Kai on May 2. On May 10, it was announced the series was being renewed for a second season.

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