Sci-fi hit ‘Stranger Things’ tops digital downloads list

A horror sci-fi sensation, the car show which blew Top Gear out of the water, and The Crown are among Ireland’s top 10 digital downloads of the year.

With more and more viewers tuning into sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, streaming has revolutionised the way millions consume films and television series.

Figures from the global data company, Parrot Analytics, reveal that Netflix’s Stranger Things takes the top spot as the most popular streaming show in this country in the first half of this year.

The hit series that has won a slew of awards about supernatural events in a small town in Indiana is led by Winona Ryder, but a shaven-headed waif called Eleven who escapes a sinister research facility steals the show.

Another sci-fi hit, Star Trek: Discovery,  came second in the rankings.

The Grand Tour, Amazon’s spectacular revved-up car show with an eye-watering budget, has proved to be a smash hit with Irish audiences.

The new vehicle, which is fronted by the departed Top Gear hosts, scored a peak viewership of 613,000 “demand expressions” in the first half of the year.

The series was more like Top Gun than Top Gear with an opening sequence in which the hosts zoomed across the desert in tricked-out Ford Mustangs, accompanied by a procession of cars, bikes, and fighter jets.

The figures were compiled by Parrot Analytics which measures demand for all digital original series across global markets.

The data science company monitors consumer interest through what it terms ‘demand expressions’ across a range of streaming platforms, on social media, blogs, piracy networks, and other sources.

The Handmaid’s Tale, which swept the boards at the Emmys, is at No 4 on the table.

The Hulu series is based on Margaret Atwood’s iconic 1985 novel about a brutally patriarchal society on land where the United States used to be.

The disturbing drama is set in the dystopian country of Gilead, formerly the United States, after the government was overthrown and replaced by a totalitarian theocracy.

Women are completely stripped of their rights, including permission to read, and their children are abducted.

The few remaining fertile ones, thanks to years of unchecked pollution and STDs, are rounded up and forced to serve as titular ‘handmaids’ to the leaders, and are even renamed after their owners.

Netflix’s The Crown is the streaming sensation on everybody’s watch list.

The drama, which follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century, is No 7 in the rankings of the most watched original digital series this year in Ireland.

13 Reasons Why, which tells the story of a 17-year-old girl named Hannah who dies by suicide, is No 5 in the rankings.

In the Netflix drama, Hannah leaves behind 13 audio cassette tapes for 13 of her classmates on which she explains exactly why she blames them for her death.

Black Mirror is another huge sci-fi hit for Netflix and is the 6th most-watched original digital series in Ireland in the first six months of the year.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Netflix’s superhero TV series, is at No 8 while the streaming giant’s crime series, Mindhunter, is at No 9.

Netflix’s prison drama, Orange is the New Black, which was one of its first major original series, is at No 10 in the rankings.

A scene from Orange is the New Black

Top digital downloads

-  1. Stranger Things

- 2. Star Trek: Discovery

- 3. The Grand tour

- 4. The Handmaid’s Tale

- 5. 13 Reasons Why

- 6. Black Mirror

- 7. The Crown

- 8. Marvel’s Jessica Jones

- 9. Mindhunter

- 10. Orange is the New Black


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