April 29, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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According to Samba TV, the finale of the third season of The Mandalorian racked up higher viewership than that of the second season finale. Samba is reporting that 1.4 million unique viewers tuned into the third seasons finale over the course of five days, whereas 1.1 unique million tuned into the season two finale.

The news is quite surprising given that the opening episode of Mando’s third season had less unique viewers than that of season two’s premiere episode and that the season three finale didn’t have any internet breaking moments such as a young Luke Skywalker turning up to save our heroes along with a touching goodbye between Din Djarin and the phenomenon that is Grogu. However, the season three finale is still slightly lower than the numbers of The Book of Boba Fett finale which brought in 1.5 million unique viewers and that of Obi-Wan Kenobi which brought in 1.8 million unique viewers, both according to Samba TV, though the most streamed Disney+ season finale is held by Loki season one with 1.9 million unique viewers.

It’s worth remembering that Samba TV is essentially only a sample size of what the true viewership is, only monitoring smarts televisions, but it gives us an idea of the performance of an individual episode or series. Samba provides a portion of unique viewers that tuned in to a specific episode (in this case The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 8) which is in contrast to numbers provided by Nielsen which shares the number of minutes watched in a certain week, but those numbers contain additional episodes from that season and the series as a whole – for example, if you watched the finale of The Mandalorian season three in its release week, but also decided to rewatch the entire season the day before, those numbers count towards that weeks number of minutes watched.

Typically Disney+ don’t provide numbers for a specific episode of film, unless the project has performed exceptionally well, then Disney will let fans and the media know. Most recently they boasted that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever became the most watched Marvel film premiere on the service, which was based on the number of minutes watched (not unique viewers). In the past, Disney celebrated that Obi-Wan Kenobi was the most watched premiere (which consisted of two episodes) of any Disney+ original series, which was also based on minutes watched. Disney’s most watched premiere based on unique viewers and not minutes watched is reportedly Loki. As you can tell, wording in these victory lap statements is key, they can all appear to be astounding successes. It’s unlikely Disney+ will provide numbers in this scenario either, whether it be unique viewers or minutes watched, as The Mandalorian season three has been outperformed in both metrics by past Star Wars series.

Only Disney themselves know the true numbers of any of their series or films on their streaming service, and unfortunately they don’t share them with the public. As I previously mentioned, if a project is a success, Disney will release a celebratory statement with some insight into how the project in question faired. However it’s down to third parties such as Samba TV and Plum Research to share data which won’t be entirely accurate, but is insightful nonetheless and gives us a ball park into how a project performed on the streaming service, for which I’m grateful.

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