600,000 People Binge-Watched House of Cards Season 2 on Netflix Last Weekend

The return of 'House of Cards' was met with great acclaim, but just how many people tuned in? While Netflix holds back its numbers, a new study may shed some light.

Feb 21, 2014 at 10:33AM

Netflix's (NASDAQ:NFLX) hit series House of Cards hit a high note in 2013 and audiences couldn't wait for the second season to come online last week. According to a new study, a sizable share of that audience spent a good bit of time watching the drama over the weekend ... and finished all 13 episodes in the process.


(Credit: Netflix)


Binge-watching started off as a great way to catch up on established shows you may have missed over the years, but Netflix has changed the equation. The company's approach of releasing all of its original shows' new episodes at the same time has changed how people watch TV.

While the company refuses to release its actual numbers (something that drives the other networks crazy), many have begun digging into alternate ways to gauge the network's viewership.

Procera Networks, a company that analyzes technology trends, has released a study showing that 2% of all Netflix users in the United States powered their way through all 13 episodes last weekend, with 1% of international audiences doing the same. Roughly translated, that's more than 600,000 viewers in the U.S. alone.

Stacking the deck

The study went even further and revealed these interesting streaming stats:

  • Anywhere from 5%-15% of Netflix subscribers worldwide watched at least one episode. 
  • The average number of episodes watched during the weekend was three domestically, and five in Europe.
  • The most popular resolution to watch in was 1280 X 720.

Interestingly, though, overall traffic from Netflix remained unchanged, meaning that the release of the new season didn't a cause a spike in new viewers. Executives have long maintained the company's catalog is so wide that its success isn't dependent on one particular show or product, and this study backs that up.

The future

While the data shows Netflix may not be reliant on shows like House of Cards to stay afloat from a numbers perspective, it's hard to argue that they haven't gained promotion and visibility as a result. The extra exposure is very valuable and partly what the company relies on to stay a step ahead of its rivals.

Other networks are now finding themselves at a major disadvantage because their numbers are public and Netflix's are not. It certainly makes for an uneven playing field, but companies like Procera are leveling the odds a little as interest into how these streaming shows do is rising.

On the company's website, Procera says its employees "thrive on technology challenges and like to tackle the biggest issues we see in the broadband market," and that's why they dug in to solve the Netflix number conundrum.

The results come from studying the Internet traffic across multiple networks, according to Procera. Look for expanded results when Netflix brings back its other hot show, Orange Is the New Black, in June. Expect more observations to come from that launch, especially now that we finally have some sort of info to make comparisons.

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Brett Gold has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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