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‘The Defenders’ May Have Been Marvel’s Least-Watched Netflix Debut

Defenders Ratings Least Watched Premiere
Marvel / Netflix

The combined might of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist was enough to take out The Defenders’ biggest foes, but perhaps not enough to hook viewers. Reports indicate that Defenders may have been the least-viewed premiere of all Marvel’s Netflix series in its first month.

Keep in mind that Netflix continues not to release any real viewership stats, but Variety reports off marketing-analytics firm Jumpshot that Defenders marks the least-watched Netflix Marvel original in the U.S. over its first thirty days; roughly 17% of the viewership that Daredevil Season 2 held. Defenders also had “the largest week-over-week drop in viewership, declining by 67%, 48% and 41%, respectively, over the 30-day period.”

Assuming the numbers are accurate (Jumpshot looks at “click-stream data from a panel of more than 100 million internet consumers”), there are still a number of factors contributing to the decline. Defenders viewers might easily have been slower to assemble for a story that requires viewing the prior four series, as opposed to fresher starts like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage or Iron Fist. The four series also attract viewers of different genres, while The Defenders may not have neatly fit in those categories.

Netflix will likely refute the reports regardless, but might Marvel rethink its team-up strategy when the next Defenders rolls around?

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