I just finished binge watching the entire second season of House of Cards, and although I am not a TV or film critic, I feel quite satisfied for someone that spent somewhere close to 12 hours watching TV today. Fortunately for me, it is part of my job during events like this (that is my story and I am sticking to it!). Kevin Spacey was phenomenal, and the rest of the cast were great in all 13 episodes, and the divergence from the British original series was extremely well done IMHO.
Netflix invested a lot of money and effort into House of Cards. It repaid them well last year with critical acclaim as well as confidence to continue investing in original programming. They were very confident going into today's release of season two, and I can see why. But how did it do compared to season one?
The initial day of viewing showed a HUGE uptick from season one. Although we will have more data once the weekend is over, the first day had some very interesting data compared to what we saw last year. We were able to start monitoring our networks with the proper episode identification at about 8-10 am eastern time this morning (after our crack engineering team was able to uniquely identify the different episode streams). Some of the highlights that we can report from Day 1 are:
- On a US Cable Network, 16% of the Netflix subscribers watched at least one episode of House of Cards today. Last year, that number was 2% on a similar sized network over the entire weekend. That is a MASSIVE difference.
- That same network showed clear signs of binge watching. We took this snapshot at about 5:30 pm eastern, and no one had watched Episode 13 yet, but the numbers for each episode show that people are continuing to watch the series as the day wore on (see below).
- On a Scandinavian broadband network, 6% of Netflix subscribers watched at least one episode of the series. In Scandinavia. That is very impressive, and shows that the series has international appeal that should make Netflix VERY happy on the worldwide market opportunity.
- On my home connection, I consumed over 27GB of data to watch the season in high definition.
Some of the supporting data:
Note: the numbers for Episode 1 are lower than Episode 2 since we started monitoring after some people had already watched Episode 1, so we can consider the Episode 2 number as the verifiable peak
Scandinavian Operator: This shows a period starting at 6pm until 9pm on the viewing of different episodes. You can see the growing number of subscribers viewing Episode 1, so we can forecast growth in the rest of the episodes for the remainder of the weekend.
I did have to do a few conference calls today, so there was a gap while I attended to business. As you can see from the data, I watched on a PS4 that averaged around 7Mbps steady state and peaked higher than 15Mbps (I have a 20Mbps connection).
We will continue to monitor and will do a followup report on Monday. Thanks for watching (or rather reading!)