Viewership Numbers for Netflix’s Original Series Have Finally Been Revealed

     April 28, 2015


There have been reports for awhile that Netflix, whose viewership numbers have never before been revealed, would soon be subject to ratings just like (most) everybody else. And so it has come to pass, as Luth Research has gathered together a panel of Netflix subscribers in order to determine not just what they are watching, but when.


Image via Netflix

Most of the information about Netflix’s original content is not necessarily earth-shattering. Daredevil has performed very well, while House of Cards is still a heavy-hitter among viewers. What’s even more interesting, though, is the timing of when people watched these shows. Over its first 11 days of release, Daredevil was viewed by roughly 10% of Netflix’s subscribers, while House of Cards reached about 6.5% of subscribers over a 30 day period.

Another fascinating aspect is looking at which shows are binged and purged the quickest. Daredevil had a huge spike before an eventual drop off, while House of Cards started strong and faded fast. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt saw a number of spikes throughout its first month of release (peaking with a healthy 7.3% pull), whereas Marco Polo and Bloodline mostly simmered (although Bloodline seems to be steadier overall than most of the series, though reached only 2.4% of subscribers — y’all need to watch this show).

As Variety (who provides a very handy graph) points out, though, there is one major caveat to this info:

Luth Research does not yet track Netflix viewing on TVs, whether Internet-connected sets or those linked to streaming-media players or gaming consoles. Because Netflix hasn’t offered much recent insight into its audience composition across devices, it’s not easy to conclude whether TV viewers watch different programming than those watching via other platforms.


Image via Netflix

Those of you who follow the daily TV ratings will surely be wondering how overall viewership and key demographics play into these trends. It’s only partially clear:


As with Nielsen data, the Luth numbers can provide an approximation of the audience size for a given series. For instance, if 10.7% of the 40.9 million domestic subs Netflix has watched at least one episode of “Daredevil,” that would mean nearly 4.4 million tuned in over the first 11 days. The 2.3% who tuned in first day of release? 940,000 viewers.


That’s far from an exact comparison to Nielsen ratings for particular episodes, but they can provide a ballpark sense of just how many are watching top shows on Netflix on a given night or over a given period.

Luth Research is also expecting to get data on Amazon Prime soon, as it is another streaming platform that doesn’t release its numbers (so far).

As for other original series not noted yet, I’m betting Orange Is the New Black will rate somewhere around House of Cards‘ numbers, but we’ll have to wait and see! For now, this new ratings information is a fascinating glimpse into a heretofore forbidden room.


Image via Netflix