Advanced Television

Netflix exclusive inspires loyalty

February 20, 2013

Arrested Development returning
Arrested Development returning

Netflix may not be releasing viewer numbers on its flagship show “House of Cards,” but a new survey by investment firm Cowen and Company offers some insight into how many people are watching the Kevin Spacey political drama. A 10th of consumers with access to Netflix have watched “House of Cards,” reported Deadline. Yet 85 per cent of Netflix users said that because of the show they’re less likely to cancel their subscriptions.

The Cowen survey conducted last week polled 1,229 US consumers, 346 of whom were Netflix customers and 223 of whom had access to a Netflix subscription. Ten per cent of respondents in those two groups said they had viewed at least one episode of “House of Cards” in the first 12 days of its availability, and the average viewer had watched a half-dozen episodes. Nearly one in five – 19.4 per cent – had watched all 13. Some 79 per cent who watched the show liked it, calling it “exceptional” or “good.”

It’s difficult to accurately extrapolate how the survey’s small sample size translates to viewership numbers. Netflix has 33 million members worldwide, but the study interviewed US consumers and included both subscribers and nonsubscribers with access to the service.

Still, the survey suggests that “House of Cards” has had a positive effect on customers’ perception of the brand. “If future original programmes are as successful as ‘House Of Cards,’ it likely leads to a stickier subscriber base over time,” said company analyst John Blackledge. Future Netflix shows include the women’s prison drama “Orange Is the New Black” from “Weeds” creator Jenji Kohan, Eli Roth’s horror thriller “Hemlock Grove,” and the return of “Arrested Development”.

Meanwhile, 22.6 per cent of Netflix subscribers said that they had canceled their cable or satellite service, but Blackledge doesn’t see a trend yet. “We are not raising the alarm on the cord-cutting debate,” he said.

Users on a budget were particularly prone to cutting the cord. Households with income of less than $25,000 represent 25 per cent of the national population and 18 per cent of survey respondents. Yet they accounted for almost a third of subscribers who had canceled pay television.

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Premium, Research, VOD