Earlier this month, Netflix suddenly canceled Iron Fist, then canceled Luke Cage a mere week later. Now, a new report suggests a decline in social media buzz may reflect the reasoning behind Netflix's decision.
New data found by Crimson Hexagon and released by Business Insider suggests that interest in Marvel's Netflix Originals has been flagging on social media. Seeing as Netflix doesn't publicly release viewership numbers, looking at social media numbers is one of the most tangible ways to gauge audience involvement.
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist all show signs of diminishing interest. This is not terribly uncommon when it comes to television shows in general, though Luke Cage and Iron Fist were hit particularly hard. This could partly explain why those shows were passed over for renewal.
When Luke Cage Season 1 premiered in September 2016, the show received monumental buzz, with over 300,000 posts made about it across Twitter and Instagram. When Season 2 hit Netflix, however, those the post volume dropped to under 50,000.
Iron Fist also saw a dramatic drop in social media buzz. When the series' first season launched in March 2017, the post volume on Twitter and Instagram came in at just under 120,000. The second, season, on the other hand, was met with less than 20,000 posts.
The data also shows that Jessica Jones had a noticeable decline in Twitter/Instagram interest from one season to the next. However, the drop was not nearly as stark as the one seen in Iron Fist or Luke Cage, with Jessica Jones Season 1 bagging a post volume of just under 300,000 and Season 2 coming in at just under 150,000.
The first season of Daredevil, Marvel's debut Netflix Original, warranted a post volume of just under 275,000. The second season did take a hit, but still pulled in over 200,000 posts. The recently-released Season 3 has seen a much sharper decline, with a post volume of about 75,000 so far. However, that data is still currently incomplete and, from a critical standpoint, the season has been met with glowing praise.
Seeing as how The Punisher's second season has not yet been released and The Defenders also only had one season, data for those shows was not included in the comparison. There have also been other possible reasons given for the non-renewal of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, including "creative differences."
Currently, The Punisher is set to go ahead with its second season and Jessica Jones with its third. However, with Disney's contract with Netflix drawing to a close, it will be interesting to see where each franchise goes from here.