“Our Flag Means Death” had a phenomenal first season when it premiered in 2022, but the Max Original series had an unusual route to success—viewers found it gradually. They kept finding it even after the series’ conclusion.
Compared to programs that had more instantly successful premieres, the show’s unusual trajectory allowed it to enjoy even longer-lasting demand. “Our Flag Means Death” is expanding its fan base and achieving unprecedented popularity in its second season, which debuted on October 5.
What distinguished the first season of “Our Flag Means Death” from other series premieres on the streaming service, however, is highlighted by comparisons between two other recent Max episodes.
“Love & Death,” a criminal drama starring Elizabeth Olsen, was one of the most anticipated new Max originals to debut in 2023. In fact, when the show debuted in Q2, it was the seventh most eagerly anticipated new series overall.
Demand for “Love & Death” and “Our Flag Means Death” appeared to follow a similar pattern in the first two weeks, as both shows progressively approached 30 times the usual series demand. But in the weeks that followed, “Our Flag Means Death” gained more traction while “Love & Death” peaked below 30 times demand.
Long after the show’s conclusion, “Our Flag Means Death” managed to keep viewers interested due to its delayed premiere. In the end, 47 days after its debut, the show’s demand peaked at 40.8 times that of the average series demand.
The “Peacemaker” finale reached a peak that was more than 45 times higher than the typical series demand, but after that, viewer interest in the program quickly declined. The lesson here is that a presentation can profit in the long run by steadily gaining momentum rather than blazing brilliantly and then quickly fading from audiences’ minds.
The fact that “Our Flag Means Death” appeals to a young audience is part of its success story. The show’s Gen Z audience makes up almost half of the viewership, which is considerably younger than the audience for Max’s complete catalog.
And a significant part of the show’s viral success was due to this youthful, active fan base. Max has been especially effective in capturing the interest of this younger audience with other plays like “Euphoria.”
In its first ten days, the second season of “Our Flag Means Death” has averaged approximately 45 times the average series demand, surpassing the peak of demand for the first season of the show.
To put this in context, the third season of “The Righteous Gemstones,” which launched on June 18th, was in nearly 50% higher demand. It is also outperforming demand for the third season of “Succession” in 2021.
The fact that “Our Flag Means Death” is outperforming HBO mainstays that received an additional season to expand their audience further emphasizes that this daring romantic comedy is no longer a scrappy sleeper hit but rather a flagship original for Max, even though demand for the fourth and final season of “Succession” this year outpaced that of these other series.
— Buttons (Ashley)🏳️🌈🏴☠️NYCC (@Seven_Sugars) October 20, 2023