May 20, 2024

Did it Trend - What Jennifer Did

The success of Netflix's "What Jennifer Did," released on April 10, 2024, underscores the resurgence of true crime documentaries, captivating millions of viewers with the gripping story of Jennifer Pan's murder-for-hire plot and outperforming many similar titles.

The Resurgence of True Crime Documentaries on Netflix

Since the beginning of the rise of streaming platforms, true crime documentaries have continued to captivate audiences around the world. With new cases emerging every day, there is no shortage of mysteries to explore in the constantly expanding world of true crime. In April, we saw a resurgence of interest in the documentary genre, and one of the best examples to illustrate it is the success of What Jennifer Did on Netflix.

What Jennifer Did is a new Netflix documentary released on April 10, 2024, exploring the story of Jennifer Pan, a Canadian woman convicted of a 2010 kill-for-hire attack targeting both of her parents. Through taped interrogation interviews, this gripping documentary allows viewers to delve deeper into the case of Jennifer Pan and discover the elaborate web of lies she spread over the years - a plot that eventually led to the tragic events.

The documentary became an instant hit on Netflix worldwide. Below you can see the daily performance of What Jennifer Did on Netflix compared to two documentaries (Files of the Unexplained and Unlocked: A Jail Experiment) which were also released on Netflix last month. In the United States, in April, over 17 million Unique Viewers watched 22.5 million hours of What Jennifer Did. It was also the second most-watched title in the United States last month, losing only to Baby Reindeer.

The success of What Jennifer Did can be also illustrated by the comparison of its performance to all similar titles released last year. As you can see below, although Americans seem to be obsessed with true crime and documentaries, What Jennifer Did’s performance is phenomenal. In the first 7 days since the release, it was watched by 10.6 million Unique Viewers. In contrast, to be in the 90th percentile (i.e. to perform better than 90% of all documentary movies), titles released in 2023 had to attract at least 4 million viewers. Thus, What Jennifer Did is clearly outperforming its competitors.

We also dove into the cross-viewing to explore whether the real-life tales of mystery and intrigue that continue to fascinate audiences can help drive the viewership of others in the same genre. It turns out that viewers captivated by the story of Jennifer Pan were seeking out similar titles centered around crime, mystery, and thriller like Files of the Unexplained, The Little Things, or Baby Reindeer.