Tiger King Crowned a Smash Hit; Lockdown Unlocks the Chef in All of Us: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, the fast food sector proves resilient as restaurants suffer amid COVID-19

joe exotic and a friend
Tiger King's 10-day U.S. ratings were nearly as high as Season 3 of Stranger Things, according to Nielsen. Netflix
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Netflix’s Tiger King Is the COVID-19 Lockdown’s First Smash Hit

To no one’s surprise, streaming services are scoring bonkers viewership numbers as people of all ages have flocked to TV to pass the time. Disney, which is facing unprecedented shutdowns of its parks, announced that it now has an astounding 50 million subscribers for its Disney+ streaming platform. To put that into perspective, Disney was hoping to land 60-90 million subscribers in the first five years. Disney has nearly hit that low end estimate in under five months.

Netflix has its own hit. Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, the true-crime documentary series that landed in late March, has been viewed by 34.3 million Americans in its first 10 days on the service, according to figures from Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings. The numbers are just shy of the record set by Stranger Things’ third season, but still mark a milestone during the pandemic, which has boosted viewership across all streaming platforms.

Read more: The data shows how Tiger King may have benefited from housebound audiences around the country looking for entertainment and escape.

More in TV and streaming news:

  • Millions of people said farewell to Modern Family last night as the ABC sitcom signs off after 11 years. Toyota, which has partnered with Modern Family throughout its 11-season run, created an animated goodbye spot that aired twice during the Modern Family one-hour retrospective that aired before the finale.
  • Data shows that black and Latino communities have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 deaths in many U.S. cities, so BET is working with the NAACP and United Way to educate and raise money for black communities in crisis with a televised fundraising event.
  • Amazon Studios has scooped up the rights to stream the movie My Spy, making the David Bautista action comedy the first film intended for a 2020 theatrical release that will instead debut on a subscription streaming service.
  • Several of spring’s most anticipated series have been postponed due to COVID-19 shutdowns, but CBS All Access will still air the first five or six episodes of Season 4 of The Good Fight consecutively, starting Thursday, and then return for its second half after production resumes. Co-creators and showrunners Robert and Michelle King spoke with Adweek about the new season.

Cooking Websites See a Traffic Boost as People Are Urged to Stay Home

Many people are finding themselves needing to cook their own dinners—maybe for the first time in a while, or the first time ever—so they’re visiting food and cooking websites and engaging with related brands at a higher rate. As a result, publishers are also seeing ad buys shift toward food websites. We talked with New York Times food columnist Alison Roman and others from the sector about the trend.

Read more: Learn how publishers are investing in community building around the topics, hoping to retain new users after the crisis passes.

Have you been following #AdweekTogether? On our daily live show that’s broadcast on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and our website, we talk about the challenges the advertising and marketing world are facing today—and how we can overcome them, together. Watch the latest episode here.

McDonald’s Same-Store March Sales Are Holding Up, Showing the Resilience of the Fast Food Sector

McDonald’s reported that U.S. comparable sales in March declined 13.4%, compared to a much larger drop for full-service restaurants. Quick service restaurants, whose businesses rely heavily on take-out, delivery and drive-thru, appear to be faring better than their casual dining counterparts that depend on sit-in dining.

Read more: Like other fast food chains, McDonald’s has adapted to focus on drive-thru, delivery and takeout.

3 Lessons Learned from Marketing Through Coronavirus So Far

In this Voice piece, OMD North America’s chief strategy officer advises marketers to channel Maya Angelou’s advice: “At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did. They will remember how you made them feel.” That means cultivating the right tone and doing what you can to encourage and support consumers.

Read more: Colonna spells out three key elements of empathetic and tonally appropriate messaging during the pandemic.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News and Highlights

#ThanksForDelivering Is UPS’ Ode to Everyone Bringing Relief and Joy

UPS took a moment to thank customers—who, in turn, continue to thank them and other package delivery companies for their vital service. #ThanksForDelivering, in cooperation with The Martin Agency, is equal parts broadcast spot and social movement.

More of the Latest

@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.