Remember when “binge” used to be one of those words with inherently negative connotations? When it was on par with “curdle,” a word that’s almost always said with a grimace as flashbacks to unfortunate late-night eating decisions float around in one’s head?
Thanks to Netflix, we now say “let’s just stay in and binge!” with glee, especially when it comes to addictive thrillers like House of Cards, which debuted its second season on Friday. While Netflix doesn’t provide viewership numbers, analytics published by California-based broadband intelligence firm Procera give a snapshot of just how successful Netflix’s promotional campaign was in terms of getting people to tune in this past weekend, smack in the middle of the Sochi Olympics, and how committed we were to the Underwoods.
“Two big conclusions jumped out at me from looking at the data,” wrote Cam Cullen, VP of global marketing at Procera, in a blog post published Thursday, of the data tracked from three ISPs in Europe and five in the U.S. Those overarching insights identified by Cullen are that binge watching is real, and that high-definition is popular.
The average American subscriber watched three episodes this past weekend, while the average European watched five, he wrote. But when it comes to binge-ing, Americans consumed more (insert stereotype joke here), with about 2% of subscribers finishing the season, compared to 1% of Europeans.
According to Procera data, between six to 10% of subscribers watched at least one episode of House of Cards over the weekend, but there was no “statistically significant increase in overall Netflix traffic, which is consistent with past series releases.”
Cullen also noted that 1280 x 720, the high definition mode streamed on consoles, TVs, or other larger screens, was the most popular resolution watched, showing an appetite for HD content.
“For those that are not familiar with how Netflix works, it will stream at the highest rate possible, so if the bandwidth is available it will use it,” he wrote.
Earlier this year Netflix announced House of Cards season two would be available in 4K streaming for select users.
Image: Netflix handout