Is House of Cards Really a Hit?
If you live somewhere with easy access to Variety or an I-95 exit, it might be impossible to imagine finding somebody who hasn’t heard of (or hasn’t sat, bleary-eyed, ingesting the entirety of) House of Cards, the sleek and entertaining political drama on Netflix. According to YouGov’s Brand Index, a rough measurement of pop culture attention, the quantifiable buzz around Netflix reached an all-time high last weekend, when the second season premiered.
But how many people actually watched the show?
Netflix doesn’t share (and doesn’t care about) live audiences, and neither do its advertisers, because there aren’t any. So rather than rough Nielsen figures, we have to go by even rougher broadband analytics. But here’s our best guess: “Anywhere from 6-10% of subscribers watched at least one episode of House of Cards,” Procera Networks found, and in the U.S., ”the average number of episodes watched during the weekend was three.” Fascinatingly: There was no appreciable increase in Netflix’s overall traffic.
Given that Netflix has just under 30 million domestic subscribers, that means that two to three million people watched House of Cards in its opening weekend. (A previous Procera estimate went as high as 16 percent of Netflix subs, or nearly 5 million.)
Two million, three million, five million people. Whatever the real number is, that’s an impressive audience for a streaming network supposedly cultivating a long tail of entertainment. But is it an enormous audience for a supposed “hit” show?
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
smart read, but there’s a problem with one of its premises: the presumed efficacy of TV ratings
I’ll trust the fuzzy interpretation of actual broadband usage cross-analyzed with subscription data over Nielsen’s statistical extrapolation from its sample
the main takeaway from the piece, as a result: it’s difficult to make an observation on US culture when your only two options come from a sample of a population (cable TV viewers and their ratings) and interpretations of a population (Netflix and broadband usage) since both of those populations are only subsets of the US
(Source: joeydeangelis, via pearlsbeforeswine)
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