Netflix Ratings Reveal Which Show Is The Most Popular & The Answer Might Be Unexpected
The secret is out! After being secretive for years regarding the ratings of its original content, the first Netflix viewership numbers have finally been released. As reported by Variety, independent market research firm Luth Research has done a sample study of Netflix subscribers and divulged the ratings for all four original series that have had new seasons premiere in 2015: Bloodline, House Of Cards, Marvel's Daredevil, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The world wants to know: which show is Netflix's most popular original programming, ratings-wise? More on that in a moment.
First, an explanation. Luth determined Netflix ratings the same way Nielsen determines ratings for television: by studying a small sample and then extrapolating that data. So if X% of the sample watches show Y, then one can assume that X% of total Netflix subscribers also watch show Y. Now, this system certainly isn't flawless... especially in this case. Luth's sample size was about 2,500 — significantly smaller than Nielsen's reported sample of 16,000 households, and only a minuscule fraction of the 57 million worldwide streaming subscribers Netflix boasted at the end of 2014 (it's 0.0004%, to be exact). Additionally, the only streaming methods that were sampled were those subscribers watching via computer, tablet, or phone — so smart TVs, streaming-media players, and gaming consoles were not tracked.
OK, so these Netflix ratings are admittedly not yet an exact science. But since it's first time we've ever seen this kind of info released, we'll take what we can get, right? The numbers that Luth provided were the percentage of sample subscribers who watched at least one episode of a given show during its first 30 days on Netflix.
So which series came out on top? Here are all four of 2015's original shows ranked, from lowest to highest:
Only 2.4% of sampled subscribers tuned into Bloodline during its first 30 days on-air, making this Kyle Chandler-starring drama from the creator of Damages the slowest starter of the year. Extrapolating from Netflix's 40.9 million domestic subscribers (meaning those who stream within the U.S.), that means about 981,6000 watched at least one episode. For reference, that's slightly lower than the average audience that a new episode of Reign draws to The CW on a Thursday night.
3. House Of Cards
Shockingly, Netflix's most buzzed-about and award-winning show isn't in first — or even second — but third place, according to Luth. 6.5% tuned into Cards' third season during its first 30 days, or about 2.7 million subscribers. That's how many people tuned into Brooklyn Nine-Nine on FOX this past Sunday. However, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright can take solace in the fact that, while their show isn't the most-watched, it's still the most bingeable: within the time period studied, more than half of Cards' audience watched three or more episodes within a single day, more bingers than any of the other shows on this list can boast.
2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt
Turns out sunny optimism beats cynical politics any day. The endlessly quotable Tina Fey-scripted comedy drew 7.3% of subscribers in its first month, or about 3 million pairs of eyeballs — about the same number of people who were tuning in to 30 Rock in its final season. Coincidence? Methinks not.
Now, drumroll please... the top show is none other than:
1. Marvel's Daredevil
Just as Marvel is poised to dominate the multiplexes this weekend with the release of Avengers: Age Of Ultron, so did the comic behemoth dominate the online streaming service with its dark and gritty series about a blind vigilante. A whopping 10.7% of the sample tuned into Marvel's newest series Daredevil, translating to 4.4 million Netflix users total. This is almost the exact number of people who watched Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 's Ultron tie-in episode on ABC this Tuesday night. Making this statistic even more impressive is that, while the other three shows sampled have been out for at least a month, Daredevil has only been online for 11 days.
Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix; David Giesbrecht/Netflix; Eric Liebowitz/Netflix; Barry Wetcher/Netflix