WandaVision, released in January 2021, was one of the Disney+ streaming service’s first major accomplishments in terms of demand after The Mandalorian, becoming one of the most popular tentpole debuts of 2021 and the most in-demand show worldwide just one month after its release. The BBC had even labelled it as the most intriguing show from the Marvel franchise in years. With this being said, WandaVision is definitely one to watch in regard to the Parrot Analytics-powered Global TV Demand Awards, which will be announced at the end of this month. The Disney+ original series is a finalist for three categories - most in demand ‘Superhero Series’, ‘Series Debut’, and ‘Overall TV Series’. This article will cover the show’s levels of demand, travelability, and momentum, as well as likely factors for the show’s fast success.
WandaVision was the first of the original Marvel series to air on Disney+, preceding other popular superhero series such as Loki and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and was very highly anticipated - having been strategically teased on social media in the months coming up to its release. While it had an admittedly slow but steady start in terms of initial demand growth, perhaps due to its weekly release schedule, WandaVision became the most in-demand series worldwide for a period of time.
The chart below shows the demand for all series over the month of February. WandaVision had gained almost 106 times more global demand than the average show in this period, significantly higher than other popular, more established series such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Spongebob Squarepants. This impressive level of demand growth over this time could have been impacted by the launch of Disney+ in Singapore at the end of February, which led to a large increase in the number of subscribers to the streaming service.
Current Demand and Influences
With the final episode of its first season airing on March 5th, while also considering the show’s limited format and low likelihood of getting a second season, it is interesting to look at the levels of travelability, momentum, reach, and franchisability WandaVision has garnered twelve months after its release. The chart below shows the series’ measurements in these areas, as well its demand and longevity. Travelability, which refers to the popularity of the show outside of its home market, is the highest of these measurements, with 117.1 times more than the average show. Momentum, which indicates how fast demand for the show has grown over the past 12 months, is the second highest on this chart, with 76.9 times more momentum than the average show.
Another interesting measurement on the above chart is the show’s level of reach, which refers to the breadth of a series’ popularity, representing the number of unique users expressing demand for it. WandaVision has an outstanding level in this area, with 27.8 times the all-time reach of the average show worldwide. One reason for this could have been the series' homage to popular sitcoms, such as Malcolm in the Middle, Bewitched, and The Brady Bunch, which, along with its funs storyline, allowed for different kinds of viewers who may not have been fans of the other, more action-packed Marvel series and films to enjoy it on its own.
Current Market Demand
WandaVision had a high level of travelability outside of its home market. This is still the case almost a year after its initial release. While the show’s final episode aired on March 5th, it still holds outstanding levels of demand across a number of different countries. The chart below shows the markets with the most demand for the original Marvel series over the month of December last year. The United States, the show’s home market, is at the top of this list, with 26.6 times more demand than the average show. The second highest is the Philippines, with 18.2 times more demand than the average show.
Point of Difference and Other Interesting Factors
As mentioned earlier, WandaVision did not stick to Marvel’s action-centered format. This could likely have been the reason why the show reached such a high level of demand in a rather short space of time. While the show would have appealed to the usual Marvel fans, especially following the enormous success of Avengers: Endgame in 2019, WandaVision allowed for viewers who have a significantly more casual relationship with the comic-book franchise to still enjoy the engaging storyline.
Another interesting factor that could have led to the success of WandaVision was the weekly release schedule, which differs greatly to the usual practice of dropping the entire series at once, making the show immediately available for viewers to binge-watch. Releasing just one episode per week was an interesting move from Disney+, but might have been quite influential to the success of the show. The more staggered way of rolling out the series’ episodes allowed for each individual episode to generate media coverage and talking points, as opposed to just the series as a whole. This tactic was also seen with Amazon Prime’s The Boys, and, while it caused some significant backlash from fans of the superhero show, its showrunner commented on how a slower release schedule had the show brought anticipation and kept it in the conversation longer.
WandaVision has indeed exceeded many of the shows that had debuted in 2021, particularly in the areas of demand, momentum, and travelability. With its pre-existing fanbase, clever storytelling, and staggered release schedule, this Disney+ original series will definitely be one to watch in the wake of the Global TV Demand Awards, coming at the end of this month.