×

‘Arrested Development’ Draws Big Early Netflix Audience

Data shows binge viewing propels early surge; piracy also seen

“Arrested Development” isn’t just hype anymore.

Netflix is seeing strong early sampling for the series since launching all 15 of its episodes on Sunday, according to preliminary data from broadband technology firm Procera Networks.

Thirty-six percent of all devices connected to Netflix via one unspecified DSL network  tracked by Procera on Sunday were watching at least part of one episode of “Arrested Development”–three times the number of those watching “House of Cards” in February.

One unspecified cable broadband network saw traffic peak volumes for Netflix jump 10% on Sunday over the previous Sunday, with an 8% increase in the number of subscribers over the same time span. “Even though this was a holiday weekend, Arrested Development was a significant contributor to that traffic jump,” said Procera analyst Cam Cullen.

As expected, the binge viewers were out in force; data showed about 10% of viewers made it through all 15 episodes.

A range of 2-7% of total Netflix traffic on various networks were derived from “Arrested Development.” While that may seem tiny, weigh that range against the sheer volume of content on both Netflix and the Internet in general.

It’s not as simple as “Development” is a bigger draw than “Cards”; the latter series paved the way for the former, and “Arrested” brings in a much bigger built-in fan base given the cult following that has come in from its run on broadcast TV and DVD.

One downside for the popularity of the series: Episodes also popped up on file-sharing networks for illegal consumption.

Although TV industry execs have called on Netflix to release viewing stats for its bold foray into original series, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company has its own justification for keeping those numbers data close to the vest. In Netflix’s view, providing ratings information would make little sense considering that the initial sampling levels so crucial to a premiere episode in traditional TV is meaningless to a company that measures the value of a series over the life of its run.

With Netflix sticking to its practice of not revealing ratings for its programming, Procera data is about as close as you can get to audience data. The company measures usage across the networks of five of the top 10 cable operators and three of the top 5 DSL operators in North America.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Marvel-SiriusXM-podcasts

    Marvel Creating 'Substantial' Number of Exclusive Podcasts for SiriusXM

    Marvel’s Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Star-Lord — and potentially more characters down the road — are getting their own podcasts on SiriusXM and Pandora. SiriusXM and Marvel Entertainment announced a multiyear pact under which Marvel will create a “substantial amount” of exclusive podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora, including both scripted and unscripted series and [...]

  • Polygon

    Quibi Orders Daily Gaming-News Series From Vox Media’s Polygon

    Quibi latest idea about “essential” daily programming? A hopped-up, rapid-fire dispatch about video games and gamer culture. The mobile subscription-video startup, led by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, ordered a daily culture and gaming news show from Vox Media’s Polygon. The yet-to-be-titled series will span headlines, trend deep-dives, first-look previews of new game [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Stock Falls After Verizon Announces Disney Plus One-Year Giveaway

    Netflix investors, already skittish about the looming entry of Disney and Apple into the competitive streaming space, pushed the stock down as much as 4% in morning trading Tuesday. The drop came after Verizon announced a deal with Disney to offer Disney Plus for 12 months free to all unlimited wireless customers and new Fios [...]

  • Markus Stoll (Harry G), Lisa Bitter,

    Amazon Greenlights German Series Starring Comedian Markus Stoll

    Amazon Studios has greenlit a German comedy series titled “The Bedfellow” (“Der Beischläfer”) starring comedian Markus Stoll, who is popular locally for playing a funny guy named “Harry G” who satirizes life in his native Bavaria. Shooting has started in Munich on the six-part series, which is directed by  Anna-Katharina Maier (“Die Klempnerin”) and  produced [...]

  • Disney-Plus-mobile-app

    Verizon Will Give One Year of Disney Plus for Free to All Unlimited Wireless Customers

    Verizon is giving away Disney Plus — the Mouse House’s new streaming service debuting next month — free for one year to all of its wireless customers on unlimited-data plans, under a broad new partnership between the two companies. When Disney Plus launches Nov. 12, the telco will begin offering 12 months of the video-streaming [...]

  • Discovery Launching Free Streaming Service Dplay

    Discovery Launching Free Streaming Service Dplay in U.K., Ireland

    Discovery is making a free-streaming play in the U.K. and Ireland with the launch of Dplay. The ad-supported service launches this week. It will be programmed with content from Discovery’s bouquet of free-TV channels in the U.K., which include Quest, Food Network, and former UKTV brands Really and Home. The lineup of launch titles includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content