In a surprising twist, it seems that The Defenders did not manage to pull in the same numbers as the other Netflix Marvel shows did. Netflix may be very tight-lipped when it comes to their viewership numbers but that didn’t stop marketing-analytics firm Jumpshot to try and figure out the viewership numbers. This is the same company that broke the news that Iron Fist was the highest viewed Marvel Netflix show outside of Daredevil Season 2.
Once again, they drew a comparison to the most viewed show of the video-on-demand platform, the aforementioned second season of Daredevil. They measured first 30 days of viewership after the premiere in the U.S. to draw a comparison. This revealed that the crossover only managed to grab 17% of its viewership, which is far behind Jessica Jones‘ 26%, Luke Cage’s 27%, and Iron Fist‘s 28%.
Does this make The Defenders a failure? Not really, as Netflix takes a lot more different aspects into account. It is unsure if the crossover may have motivated people to subscribe to the service, which would lead to a sales increase for the company. There is also the possibility that these numbers are not a good representation of how many viewers actually watched this show. Jumpshot had to rely on third-party data, which cannot give a full picture of what is happening behind the scenes. Netflix executives have also been vocal about distrusting the validity of these attempts at recreating their viewership numbers.
There is one aspect that could point to The Defenders not making as big of a splash as the other shows did. There simply were too many episodes to catch up to. The show was advertised as the culmination of four different shows, with a total of 5 seasons. That’s 65 hours of inconsistent TV to get through. A daunting investment of personal time for many casual viewers, which would chase away a few people that just don’t have the time for it.
There are many other possibilities. August is in the middle of the summer, so some people would much rather spend their day outside than watching a show. The Defenders is the closest to a “superhero” show if compared to its predecessors on the network. Each show had some unique aspect that lured in new viewers to check them out, but the crossover’s main selling point was seeing these characters come together. Fans of specific shows might be more interested in seeing a second season of their personal favorite show rather than seeing them interact with characters they know or care little about.
What do you think about it? Why do you think its viewer numbers might not compete with the other Marvel Netflix shows?