×

Netflix ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ Is Least-Viewed Among Marvel Series in Debut Month in U.S., Study Finds

Turns out that as a crime-fighting quartet, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist together may be weaker than they are as solo vigilantes.

“Marvel’s The Defenders,” featuring the street-hero characters, was the least-watched Netflix Marvel original series premiere in the U.S. as measured over the first 30 days of viewership, according to an analysis by Jumpshot, a marketing-analytics firm.

For the comparison, Jumpshot created an index benchmarking each of the Netflix Marvel series against the top-viewed of the bunch, which was “Daredevil” season 2 in March 2016. Following its Aug. 18 premiere, “The Defenders” clocked in with just 17% of the viewership that “Daredevil” season two received in the first 30 days. The study looked at Netflix U.S. subs who watched at least one episode of each series.

Compared with “The Defenders,” the previous premieres of “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones” performed relatively equally in the first 30 days, accounting for 28%, 27% and 26% of “Daredevil” season 2’s viewership, respectively. In addition to being the least-viewed of the group, “The Defenders” also had the largest week-over-week drop in viewership, declining by 67%, 48% and 41%, respectively, over the 30-day period, per Jumpshot.

Netflix doesn’t release viewing data, leaving industry players to rely on estimates from third parties. But execs from the streaming-video company have routinely questioned the validity of attempts to gauge consumption on its global platform.

Moreover, Netflix evaluates the full performance of its content on its VOD service over a longer span than just 30 days. But the initial consumption of a series is often a good indicator of its long-term performance, and it’s worth noting that “The Defenders” showed a significant drop in viewers in the first month on the service.

The eight-episode miniseries “Marvel’s The Defenders” tells the story of Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones), who reluctantly band together to save New York City from criminal mastermind Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver).

Why did “The Defenders” mashup get a colder shoulder than its predecessor series? One explanation may be that each of the individual street heroes appeals to different kinds of viewers, at least among Netflix members who had never watched content tagged as in the “superhero” genre before.

According to a Netflix news release, one-eighth of the viewers for the Marvel street-hero series were new to the comic-book genre. Among this group of newbies, “Daredevil” viewers gravitate toward storylines featuring antiheroes and moral ambiguity; “Jessica Jones” attracted those attuned to “sharp humor and dark crime”; “Luke Cage” watchers tended to prefer stories about “dangerous worlds and complex consequences”; and “Iron Fist” drew in fans of coming-of-age tales.

For the data on Netflix originals, Jumpshot looked at the viewing behavior and activity of the company’s U.S. members. The San Francisco-based company analyzes anonymized click-stream data from a panel of more than 100 million internet consumers, amounting to some 160 billion individual data points per month. The data excludes viewing that occurs on connected-TV platforms or Netflix mobile apps, but Jumpshot says its benchmark analysis reflects aggregate viewing on the platform.

More Digital

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content