What US viewers really think of Harry & Meghan's Netflix documentary
Harry & Meghan’s Netflix series has failed to impress audiences in the US, new research reveals.
The documentary series, which contained damaging revelations about the Royal Family, ranked 95th for audience enjoyment of streaming programmes in the US in December, according to market research company Kantar.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tell-all interview series ranked well behind Netflix’s fictionalised Royals drama The Crown, which was the third most enjoyed programme across streaming platforms in the US last month.
The Sussex’s series was first released on December 8, in the lead-up to the publication of the Duke’s memoir Spare.
Harry made a number of bombshell claims in the interviews, including blaming the press for his wife’s miscarriage and describing how the Prince of Wales screamed at him during a crisis summit with the Queen at Sandringham.
The documentary series became the most-watched subscription TV show of the year, hitting 4.5m viewers during its first week. The series attracted almost 1.7bn viewing minutes in the US in the week of December 12, according to data from Nielsen.
But despite drawing eyeballs, many American viewers gave negative feedback about the show. Kantar's quarterly survey polls 20,000 people in the US and 12,000 in the UK about their viewing habits and satisfaction.
The findings tally with film critic website Rotten Tomatoes, where just 18pc of streaming viewers gave the docuseries a positive rating. The show is rated 4.8 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), based on 21,000 reviews.
While the series failed to excite US viewers, it was the fifth most enjoyed programme in Britain last month according to Kantar.
“The Harry & Meghan documentary on Netflix jumped into fifth place in terms of most-enjoyed titles in December in Great Britain, in sharp contrast to the US where it was placed 95th,” Kantar said.
The Sussex’s deal with Netflix is reportedly worth over $100m and the Californian tech company has previously revealed that the tell-all interview series was its second-most viewed documentary ever.
Netflix declined to comment on Kantar’s polling.
The Sussexes, who stepped down from Royal duties in an acrimonious split in 2020 and now live in Montecito, near Los Angeles, also have a deal with music streaming company Spotify to produce a podcast series.
On Friday, Variety reported that two key aides had left the Duke and Duchess’s Archewell umbrella company, which manages their media and philanthropic ventures.
Ben Browning, the organisation’s head of internal content, would depart, along with Fara Taylor, its head of marketing.
Ashley Hansen, Archewell’s head of communications, said the departing executives had “exceeded expectations and made their mark within the cultural zeitgeist”.
Last month Mandana Dayani, president and operations chief of Archewell, parted ways with the group.
Overall, the Kantar data showed that the number of British households subscribing to at least one streaming service rose by 55,000 to 16.2m – or 56pc – in the last three months of the year.
The total number of streaming service subscriptions also rose by more than 300,000 over the final three months of the year, with Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Paramount+ driving the gains.
A Netflix spokesman said: "[The] Harry & Meghan documentary was the second most successful documentary series ever. Our aim is to please our members with a wide variety of shows that they can enjoy whatever mood they are in."