Streaming data shows that The Mandalorian season 2 premiere was even bigger than the launch of season 1 - but will it continue that way?
The Mandalorian season 2 premiere was even bigger than the first season launch. Disney has long considered the Disney+ streaming service to be a corporate priority, with executive bonuses switched away from the traditional profit metrics to Disney+ subscription and retention figures. One of the major drivers for Disney's Fox acquisition was the need to increase the Disney+ content library so it could compete more effectively with more established rivals.
Disney+ launched in November 2019, and the House of Mouse wisely chose to launch it alongside the world premiere of The Mandalorian. The first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian released to rave reviews. Even better from a marketing standpoint, Disney had somehow managed to keep the existence of Baby Yoda a secret, and the diminutive little alien instantly went viral. The Mandalorian became the most in-demand steaming show in the US December 2019, easily beating competitors such as The Witcher. But how has season 2 fared so far?
According to data provided to Screen Rant by Parrot Analytics, a data analytics firm who measure demand for TV shows, demand for The Mandalorian season 2 premiere in the US was even higher than season 1. It is, however, important to note that demand for season 1 increased over time due to positive word of mouth. Consequently, while The Mandalorian season 2 definitely had a stronger premiere than season 1, the jury is still out as to whether this season will outperform the last overall. However things play out, though, Disney will still be delighted; Parrot confirm The Mandalorian season 2 is currently the most in-demand series overall in the US.
This fits with recent reports from Business Insider that The Mandalorian season 2 premiere led to a spike in sign-ups for Disney+, with third-party analytics suggesting almost a third of those were returning subscribers who had signed up again for the new Star Wars show. Unfortunately, this does point to a lasting problem with Disney+; as good as The Mandalorian may be, Disney+ has struggled to match its success. Matters have naturally been worsened as a result of the pandemic, with production of even the eagerly-anticipated MCU TV shows disrupted.
It's clear The Mandalorian is Disney's most important TV series right now, but the long-term success of a streaming service depends on both subscription numbers and retention. The challenge facing Disney is to ensure they have a constant stream of high-quality content equal to The Mandalorian, in order to encourage viewers to stick around, just not subscribe for these eight weeks. It will be fascinating to see how things play out for Disney+ and The Mandalorian.