When it was announced in April 2017, plans for a DC-branded digital platform were met with both cautious optimism from fans. The streaming market has become increasingly crowded, with many media companies launching their own services to compete with Netflix and Hulu. However, less than five months into its full launch, WarnerMedia's gamble a premium streaming service has clearly paid off, buoyed by its original programming.
When DC Universe officially debuted in September, the platform was still very much a work in progress, with only a limited library of comics and television and film adaptations. Nearly a month later, its first original series, the live-action Titans, premiered, offering a mature take on the young heroes that won over many skeptical fans.
As the first season of Titans unfolded over the following 10 weeks, viewership steadily increased, outpacing the second seasons of Jessica Jones, Black Lightning and Legion while earning strong reviews. Following the conclusion of Titans' first season in December, DC Universe launched Young Justice: Outsiders, the eagerly anticipated third season of the beloved animated series. Receiving unanimous acclaim from critics, Outsiders was similarly a success, boosting viewership on the platform since its debut.
New figures from Parrot Analytics and Business Insider reveal that Young Justice: Outsiders and Titans were among the top seven series streamed last week on digital platforms. A similar report the previous week placed the DC Universe shows as the top two series streamed during that period, with Young Justice claiming the top spot. The week before that, Titans was the third most-streamed series, corroborating reports that viewership has consistently increased over the past three months, making it an unequivocal success for the fledgling service. The two show are holding their own against Netflix offerings like The Punisher, Stranger Things and You.
With Young Justice entering a scheduled hiatus until June, DC Universe is looking to maintain its momentum with the debut of its next live-action original series, Doom Patrol, next month. The live-action Swamp Thing, currently filming its first season in North Carolina, is expected to follow in May. All the while, DC Universe has added to its streaming and comics libraries, including digitally remastered seasons of Batman: The Animated Series, the first season of Syfy's Krypton, and day-and-date release of DC Animated Original Movies.
In an age when virtually every single media company is vying for territory in the streaming wars, WarnerMedia's bid to enter the crowded market was viewed as a risky move. However, with its vast and growing library of DC adaptations, and popular, critically acclaimed original programming, the new platform has certainly connected with audiences and critics alike. A streaming success boasting high viewership of its exclusive programming, with more on the immediate horizon, DC Universe has proved itself not only relevant but popular.
Titans and Young Justice: Outsiders are available to stream on DC Universe. Doom Patrol will premiere on Feb. 15, followed by Swamp Thing on May 10.