It’s been about four months since we wrote about the innovative attempt by Frederator to bring high-quality animated content to the online masses with the Bravest Warriors. With the first season coming to an end it makes sense to pay them a visit and see how well they’ve done.
As with every form of media, the numbers are extremely important and Bravest Warriors is no exception. Although it is still very early to say, the numbers are nonetheless impressive for a web series. The most viewed episode was number 3, Butter Lettuce with 2.068,624 people having watched it as of writing with the current average views per episode coming in just under the 1 million mark
The Viewing Pattern
Just as important as the viewing numbers has been the viewing patterns. Just check out the graph for the first episode, Time Slime:
Notice something interesting? Yes, it’s spectacularly linear! traditional TV broadcasts only measure spikes when each episode is broadcast, and that only occurs once a week. With the internet, viewers can watch and be measured at any time, and the chart above should be of interest to anyone in content.
The fact that it is so linear means that viewing is fairly constant. Naturally, the audience consists of new and repeat viewers, the data for which is not publicly available. However, one would expect to see a sharp slope at the beginning followed by a long plateau. That is not the case however, and suggests that people are using the freedom of the web to view whenever is convenient for them. The result is a stabler, more predictable viewing pattern.
In total, Bravest Warriors has so far pulled in over 10.6 million views. That’s awesome! How many cable (maybe even broadcast networks?) would like those kinds of totals for their shows? The best part is that number is far from final. Since the last episode isn’t even a week old, you can be certain that it will garner close to the average for the earlier episodes which is between 800,000 and a million viewers. That would put the final figure for the series at over 12 million views.
Twelve. Million. Views.
Even just two years ago, that kind of number would have been pie in the sky for an animated web series (an original one, not a one-off or a Charlie the Unicorn-like now-and-then series.) They exemplify how far the shift to online viewing has come. Remember, YouTube is barely seven years old and it still hosts a lot of cat videos.
The Future of the Bravest Warriors
What does all this hold for the future? Well a second season is a foregone conclusion at this stage, but in the broader sense, it proves that it is possible to succeed online with an animated series. Oh sure, a lot remains to be seen and the studio is keeping tight-lipped on how the financials look, but given how well the series is promoted, how well Frederator has been at getting the merchandise out and the generally positive reviews the series has received (<2% thumbs down), it’s safe to say that Bravest Warriors has been a hit.
Would you call Bravest Warriors a hit? Could it have done better? Let us know with a comment!