Movies and television series have become a reliable companion for many quarantined Filipinos dealing with anxiety and boredom. And as predicted, we’ve binge-watched a lot of Korean dramas, while many have developed interest in local movies and old American sitcoms.
Using Google Trends data of Filipinos’ search visits and streaming sites’ web visits from January to May (before and during lockdown), meta-search website iPrice Group discovered the following interesting insights into our watching habits during the pandemic.
K-drama fever was real-er than ever
Itaewon Class, starring Park Seo-joon and Kim Da-mi, had the most surge in interests with a dramatic 9,900 percent increase compared to two months before the lockdown, while the 2015 Korean drama series Reply 1988’s search interests increased by 456 percent.
Meanwhile, Crash Landing on You reached its peak searches after its final episode aired in February, before the lockdown, and searches dramatically decreased in two weeks. But after the enhanced community quarantine was implemented, there was an immediate resurge of search interests, which notably increased by 105 percent since the period of decreased interest.
Local movie and US sitcom throwback
Filipinos streaming online are revisiting local movies such as Heneral Luna, which garnered an increase of search interests by 809 percent. This was followed by 2013 comedy-drama and meme generator film, Four Sisters and A Wedding with a 376-percent increase. Another historical film, Goyo: The Boy General, was also sought after by Filipinos, which saw an increase of 300 percent.
Older American sitcoms are likewise resurfacing. The 11-season Modern Family, whose first episode aired in 2009, saw a search interest surge of 426 percent, while Community (2009-2015) recorded a 400-percent spike and How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014) a 355-percent increase.
Money Heist stole many binge-watching hours of Filipinos
The Professor and his gang were a hit among Filipino viewers as Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), garnered the most interest in the Philippines among all the most searched shows and movies iPrice Group curated in April.
Trailing behind Money Heist during this period by 157 percent were Itaewon Class and Crash Landing On You. “However, it is important to note that Money Heist’s spike is due to its latest season’s release. K-dramas still garnered a consistent amount of interest throughout the lockdown,” said iPrice.
Niche streaming sites got more web visits
Mubi, which carefully curates movies around the world and hand-picks only 30 available titles at a time, had the most increase in worldwide web visits during this pandemic. The niche site saw a 96.98-percent increase between April and February. Another niche site, Viu, which offers premium Korean shows and other Asian programs, had a notable increase of 59.46 percent. Crunchyroll, which streams anime and manga, went up by 35 percent.
iWant, a streaming site that exclusively streams local Filipino shows and movies, garnered a mere 10-percent increase in web visits.