One thing that Disney has learned through its stewardship of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that audiences can’t get enough of Loki, brother of Thor, and perpetually scheming anti-hero.
If data regarding the debut of “Loki” is any indication, it would appear that Tom Hiddleston’s turn as Asgard’s God of Mischief continues to charm audiences in record numbers.
Thus far, Disney+ has been mum regarding figures on the series’ first entry. However, updated stats courtesy of Samba TV indicate that viewership of the show’s premiere has clocked in 2.5 million U.S. household views, making it the best the streaming service has seen.
For comparison to previous Marvel series premieres, the first episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” came in at 1.8 million U.S. households over its first five days, and “WandaVision” snagged 1.6 million.
After stealing the Tesseract during the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” an alternate version of Loki is brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority, a bureaucratic organization that exists outside of time and space and monitors the timeline. They give Loki a choice: face being erased from existence due to being a “time variant” or help fix the timeline and stop a greater threat.
Samba TV also reported that “Loki” set a first-day record for Disney+ with 890,000 U.S. households clicking play.
While these numbers are undeniably good news, there still remains a challenge when it comes to fully understanding and processing streaming viewership and a show’s “success.” There is yet to be determined a standardized, universal manner in which to rate viewership on streaming platforms, and audiences are spread across a multitude of ways in which to tune in.
According to Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president and chief creative officer, “it’s a whole new world.”
“As far as I know there aren’t really any Nielsen ratings (for streaming),” said Feige. “I haven’t been given any Nielsen ratings for a streaming series. All the different streaming services have access to their own information, but don’t share it so easily to the public or across services.”
“We knew what success meant at the box office — that was very clear. There were numbers to compare it to,” he said. “Success in the streaming world, I’m still learning and figuring out.”
Disney+ is an ad-free video streaming service that offers exclusive series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, The Muppets, and more.
The Disney streaming service costs $7.99 / month, or $79.99 / year ($6.67 / month). You can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $13.99 a month (cheaper than Netflix).
The service includes 25+ new original series, 10+ original movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. You can stream original series like “The Mandalorian”, “Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “Loki”, and “Monsters at Work.”
You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.
Samba TV collects its data from 3 million U.S. households who tune in for five minutes or more, limited to only smart TV screens. Their data does not include mobile viewership. These are not the same metrics used by, say, Netflix or HBO Max.
One certainty regarding the numbers is that Disney+ has a good thing going no matter how you look at it. The platform has been putting its intellectual property to work, keeping fans of both Marvel and Star Wars tuning in for original, high quality content like “The Mandalorian.”
Their traditional one-episode-a-week release structure has done well to keep the spotlight on their programming via social media discussion and discourse. The platform hit 103.6 million subscribers in the first three months of 2021, and in spite of streaming growth slowing as pandemic restrictions cool down and the weather heats up, Disney+ continues to open up in new markets internationally.
In spite of his failures against the Avengers, it looks like Loki may have a chance to conquer the planet after all.