The secret fundament of Isengard has been laid bare! Well, sorta. Netflix has released some viewership data….sorta. In a lively press release they’ve pinpointed a new kind of TV viewer called a “Binge Racer” – namely people who race to binge a show as soon as it is released and finish it within 24 hours of release.
(Aside: can you IMAGINE the priceless data trove Netflix is sitting on? Another reason why the Streaming Giant is ascendant.)
In total, 8.4 million members have chosen to Binge Race during their Netflix tenure, and the only thing faster than their rate of watching is the rate this behavior continues to grow. Between 2013 and 2016 the amount of launch day finishers increased more than 20 times over.
And before you assume that racers are just basement-dwelling couch potatoes, know that for these super fans, the speed of watching is an achievement to be proud of and brag about (we’re looking at you, Anastasia). TV is their passion and Binge Racing is their sport.
Along with this marketing speak, Netflix also released a list of the Top 20 binge raced shows, and standing proud at #3 is The Defenders, the Marvel x-over team up event starring Daredevil, Power Man and Jessica Jones as crimefighters and Iron Fist as annoying, naive, eye candy.
This is interesting because previous reports – not from Netflix but based on social media metrics – had Defenders as the least watched Marvel Netflix show.
No doubt The Defenders’ compact 8 episode schedule contributed to its bingeworthiness. And maybe also why it didn’t get as many social mentions? Perhaps the net of all this is that all the people who wanted to watch Defenders did it immediately, and then went back to thinking about Gilmore Girls.
The complete Top 20 shows ranked by how many times they were binge watched in their initial 24 hours on Netflix:
1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
2. Fuller House
3. Marvel’s The Defenders
4. The Seven Deadly Sins
5. The Ranch
6. Santa Clarita Diet
7. Trailer Park Boys
8. F Is for Family
9. Orange Is the New Black
10. Stranger Things
11. Friends From College
13. Grace and Frankie
14. Wet Hot American Summer
15. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
16. House of Cards
19. Chewing Gum
20. Master of None
Meanwhile, people continue to mock Marvel’s Inhumans, and its sinking rating make it unlikely that ABC is going to pick up the show – although we now know that ABC also wanted to cancel SHIELD but Marvel/Disney stepped in and said “Thou shalt not cancel SHIELD!”
As the above still from an upcoming episode shows (sorry spoilers) the show continues to look like someone shot it in their backyard on an old VHS camera. And budget problems have been solved by cutting off Medusa’s hair, surely a fix that would only last for ONE season, since the character’s whole point is having PREHENSILE HAIR. Also, Medusa continues to wear clothing that you can see her underwear through, so situation normal!
Here’s a succinct write-up on Inhumans’ recent ratings slide:
Unfortunately, the sad truth is that the show has failed to impress. The latest ratings are in, and Episode 4 (“Make Way for… Medusa”) once again saw a drop. The series debuted to 3.8 million viewers, but is pretty much haemorrhaging viewers. Episode 4 was watched by only 2.3 million people. Worse still, the key 18-49 demographic has dropped from 0.9 to 0.6. These are all ominous signs, suggesting that Marvel’s Inhumans is failing to gain traction with its target audience.
There’s a lot more in the piece, including how the underlying theme of Eugenics is also a tough sell (and one that’s particularly inappropriate at the moment.) Royalty, caste systems – we like that kind of stuff on Game of Thrones when its fantasy but in the here and now, where people really believe in racial purity and superiority – not as fun.
TV schedules being what they are we probably won’t know for months and months if Inhumans is coming back, even if the ratings continue to dip. Maybe they’ll just put it up on Netflix so people can binge it.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.