There are no standard “ratings” for Netflix. But “Marvel’s The Defenders,” the streamer’s newest original series in the street-hero franchise, could be one of its biggest hits ever, independent research indicates.
The four preceding Marvel series leading up to “Defenders” — “Daredevil” season 2, “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” — were among the top five most-viewed recently released Netflix originals in the first 30 days after their premieres, according to data from marketing-analytics firm Jumpshot, provided exclusively to Variety. Teen-suicide drama “13 Reasons Why” took the No. spot.
It seems safe to predict that “The Defenders,” as the culminating mashup with each of the four characters uniting against a common enemy, will turn in similar binge-heavy viewership as well. Netflix released all eight episodes of the limited series at 12:01 a.m. PT Friday. The show stars Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage) and Finn Jones (Iron Fist).
The analysis from Jumpshot shows the relative number of U.S. Netflix viewers who watched at least one episode of each series. The data is presented as a index, benchmarked against the most-viewed Netflix original in the comparison, “Daredevil” season 2. For example, “13 Reasons Why,” the second most-viewed premier in the first 30 days, garnering 48% of the viewers that “Daredevil 2” received.
Of the series studied, “13 Reasons Why” was the only Netflix original that showed any growth in week-over-week viewership in the first month of release, with an 18% increase from week one to week two. That reflects strong word-of-mouth buzz for the controversial show.
“Stranger Things” was the seventh most-viewed Netflix original premiere in its first 30 days, but it had the lowest week-over-week decline in viewership, per the Jumpshot data. It’s not a surprise that shows see a viewing drop-off after the first week, given Netflix’s binge-friendly release strategy.
Meanwhile, “Orange Is the New Black” season 5 was the least-viewed among the Netflix original series analyzed by Jumpshot, registering just 10% of the viewers “Daredevil 2” over the initial 30-day period.
“OITNB” has been cited by company execs as consistently being among its most popular series, so why did the latest run apparently turn in weaker results? One potential factor: A hacker who had stolen the first 10 episodes (out of 13 total) released them to piracy networks six weeks ahead of the season 5 debut, after Netflix refused to pay a ransom. In addition, it may be that “Orange” fans simply didn’t dive in immediately. The season’s June 9 release date may have pushed “OITNB” farther down the queue for Netflix subs who were in the middle of one of the other series that debuted over the preceding four weeks (“House of Cards” season 5, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” season 3 and “Master of None” season 2).
San Francisco-based Jumpshot analyzes click-stream data from an online panel of more than 100 million consumers, which amounts to 160 billion individual clicks per month. To compile the data on Netflix originals, it looked at the viewing behavior and activity of the company’s U.S. members.