Wait, How Many People Watched the Entire Second Season of ‘House of Cards’?

/ Feb 21, 2014


Netflix famously doesn’t disclose ratings for its original programming — the company’s argument being that since it’s not beholden to advertisers, it doesn’t need to.

It’s a fair point, but that doesn’t stop everyone from trying really hard to figure out many people are watching the service’s original shows — especially “House of Cards.” With it being the most decorated program to come out of the Netflix originals lineup (so far), everyone’s eyes are on the political drama.

So, how many eyes were on the political drama? According to a study from Procera Networks, about 2% of all Netflix subscribers in the US watched all 13 episodes of the second season in its first weekend* (our very own Jocelyn Johnson and Liz Shannon Miller were among those subscribers… crazy people). If you take that percentage and factor it into Netflix’s last-reported US subscriber numbers, we’re looking at roughly 668,000 people watching every episode of the second season during its first weekend.

If accurate, that’s a pretty strong number, and significantly better than when the first season of “House of Cards” premiered last February. Procera reports season two’s debut weekend numbers are four times that of season one’s.

This number also doesn’t factor into the people who are still diving through the show, and the others who have yet to get started on it (one of the benefits of not being limited by a TV season!).

How big was the viewership in general? Per Procera’s study, anywhere from 5-15% of all Netflix subscribers worldwide sampled at least one episode of the second season.

Supporting Netflix’s strategy of allowing its viewers to binge, Procera says the average number of episodes watched during the first weekend was three in the US, and five in Europe. Which kind of differs from those aforementioned super-bingers, as only 1% of European subscribers watched all 13 episodes of the second season.

Procera says it worked with “several worldwide broadband networks” to gather traffic data and see what the consumption levels were for “House of Cards.” Since Netflix doesn’t release ratings, this is the closest we’re going to get to having idea of how popular “House of Cards” is.

That said, you don’t really need me or Procera Networks to tell you that “House of Cards” is popular.

* Personally, I watched episodes one and two, then the season finale, then watched until episode nine. Now I refuse to watch anymore. Ask me why.

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  • I think this trend of trying to come up with numbers for Netflix audience habits is both informative professionally and hilarious and also a bit scary with how much info is available.

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