Ahsoka is effectively keeping viewers on Disney+ and within the Star Wars franchise

25 September, 2023

Image: Ahsoka, Disney+

Demand for the latest Star Wars series on Disney+, Ahsoka,  has been higher than most other recent Star Wars premieres but has trailed the latest season of The Mandalorian - until recently. On September 22nd, Ahsoka hit 83 times the average series demand in the US, which is higher than The Mandalorian reached at any point during its third and most recent season.

What caused this huge jump in demand after the most recent episode? Without giving too much away, a major character made his long awaited debut in the latest episode and energized the Star Wars fanbase. This is an example of what has made Ahsoka a particularly impactful piece of content for Disney+ - its ability to engage fans and keep them watching other Star Wars content on the platform. With two more episodes yet to be released, it remains to be seen if this show can build on this momentum going into its finale.


The value of this show to Disney+ is about more than just high demand. When we look at the granular viewing behavior of its audience we can see that people who watched Ahsoka were fairly likely to watch other shows on Disney+, in particular another Star Wars show.

In the first month since the show premiered, 10.8% of people who watched Ahsoka in the US also watched another show available on Disney+. A majority of these viewers who watched another show on the platform were watching another Star Wars show (6.0%). This highlights the retention value of building out an interconnected franchise to help keep users on the platform.

As a point of comparison we can look at the latest addition to the Disney+ Marvel Universe, Secret Invasion, which premiered on June 21st. This was the first new Marvel series to premiere since She-Hulk: Attorney at Law debuted on August 18th, 2022 and was the most in-demand new series to premiere in the US in Q2 with 42.1 times the average series demand in its first 30 days. However, Secret Invasion was less effective at keeping users on Disney+ than Ahsoka. In its first month, 6.8% of people who watched Secret Invasion watched another show available on Disney+.

Ahsoka in particular is an example of a tightly integrated addition to a franchise. The show is a continuation of the animated series, Star Wars Rebels. The live action version of the main character in the series (played by Rosario Dawson) made her debut in the second season of The Mandalorian. Multiple actors are reprising their roles from other shows and movies in Ahsoka, including Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. Building in linkages like these between a show and other content in a franchise helps to keep viewers sticking around.

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