The Marvel Disney+ exclusive series Loki has concluded, but it’s still creating a lot of buzz. As proof of that, a new report of the United States viewership for the season finale "For All Time, Always" confirmed that it has beaten out previous Marvel Disney+ shows WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. So what does this mean for the god of mischief and the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Formerly known as Flingo, Samba TV is the leading recommendation and tracking application/engine used by most Smart TVs. Basically, it gathers data on what consumers viewing habits are in the age of internet broadcasting, providing much needed statistics that major broadcasters and media companies use.
Samba TV is available on millions of Smart TV screens and in multiple countries worldwide, with support from a wide array of media providers and corporations such as Disney, FOX, Warner Media, and many others.
The information Samba TV provides is generally used to determine viewership, audience share, preferences, and trends. In a way, it is similar to the older systems that gather data through manual surveys. It is not limited to television shows either, as Samba TV tracks streaming services and video games played on these Smart TVs, as well.
Loki vs. other Marvel Disney+ shows
The premiere episode of Loki garnered the best numbers versus other Disney+ shows in terms of U.S. viewers based on the Samba TV data.
On the first day, Samba TV reported that the first episode of Loki (released on June 9, 2021) hit 890,000 viewers. By comparison, WandaVision’s series premiere (January 15, 2021) had 655,000, while The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s premiere had a viewership of 759,000 (March 19, 2021). For the five-day period after the initial release, Loki’s premiere hit 2.5 million U.S. household viewers.
Want a closer look at how viewership stacked up for the #Loki series premiere compared to previous #Marvel series on #DisneyPlus? Here's the breakdown of premiere day viewership: pic.twitter.com/cSRIXvrsJX
— Samba TV (@samba_tv) June 10, 2021
Generally, there is an expected drop in the numbers of household viewers as a series moves forward, after the initial buzz has died down. How steep the drop in the numbers is can be an indication of the series’ lasting appeal and how well it keeps the interest of its audience with each subsequent episode.
The Marvel Disney+ shows have been consistent in retaining audience shares, with very little drops. Variances are particularly important, given the small number of these MCU series episodes per season (with the current standard being six weekly episodes in total).
Aside from the premiere episodes, the finales are of particular interest. Other than being a benchmark for viewer retention, the results can be used as a gauge on how well the series performed in terms of establishing connections with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as each series is a chapter in the long-form narrative that has become the hallmark of this mega-franchise.
Going back to the Loki series finale where the god of mischief and his variant Sylvie confronts Immortus (aka the Kang variant "He Who Remains"), it has outdone its contemporaries as well. The episode pulled in 939,000 U.S. households’ viewership on its day of release. For the five day period, the finale reached 1.9 million U.S. households total.
Wondering how viewership of the #LokiFinale compared to other MCU series? Here's how many US households tuned in for Episode 6 of each:#Loki - For All Time. Always. - 1.9M#TFATWS - One World, One People - 1.7M#WandaVision - All-New Halloween Spooktacular! - 1.4M pic.twitter.com/MdkHCV7rpk
— Samba TV (@samba_tv) July 19, 2021
Why these numbers matter
While the numbers might not seem impressive with over 120+ million U.S. TV households, it should be noted that they are only from the data gathered by Samba TV through Smart TV technology. This does not include viewers who watched the Disney+ streaming series on mobiles or on other devices such as computers. With an estimated 3 million Smart TV users in the U.S. equipped with Samba TV, the Marvel Disney+ series' numbers are very noteworthy.
If that is not a sufficient indication, Loki making history as the first Marvel Disney+ show that immediately gets the greenlight for a second season should be. The significance of this cannot be discounted, given how the Marvel properties are planned out in phases (currently Phase Four) that stretch out for years through multiple projects, both for television and on film.
The Samba TV numbers will likely influence decisions for future projects under the Marvel Disney+ exclusive banner. On that note, it is already anticipated that the performance of the next series Marvel’s What If…? will determine the future of the superhero animated feature films and television entries. Animated Marvel projects have traditionally lagged that of their rivals over at DC Entertainment/Warner Bros., with the most recent notable project being the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but that was a collaboration with Sony Pictures.
Making of Loki upcoming
To further celebrate the success of the Loki series, Marvel Studios is releasing Assembled: The Making of Loki on the Disney+ streaming service. The special episode features cast interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of the production. Assembled: The Making of Loki is available now on Disney+.
Loki stars Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Tara Strong, Jonathan Majors, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Sasha Lane, Richard E. Grant, and Eugene Cordero. Written by Michael Waldron and directed by Kate Herron, the full season of Loki is now streaming on Disney+.