Is Netflix’s ‘Get Down’ a Flop? Data Shows Tepid Reception in First Month of Release

the get down
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix spent a bundle on “The Get Down” — its most expensive series ever — and so far Baz Luhrmann’s epic ’70s hip-hop drama hasn’t come close to being as popular as several of the company’s other recent originals, according to third-party research.

While Netflix has steadfastly refused to release data about its shows, other providers have sprung up to try to estimate viewership of and buzz about its original productions. The initial results for “The Get Down” indicate that the show has not been a big hit, a likely disappointment for the streamer given that it cost at least $120 million to produce, as Variety reported in July.

The first six episodes of the 12-part “Get Down” premiered Aug. 12. According to Symphony Advanced Media, “The Get Down” in the first 31 days of release garnered 3.2 million total viewers among U.S. adults 18-49, with an average audience rating in the demo of 2.33.

That’s less than half the audience of several other Netflix originals over the same 31-day time frame after premiere. “Orange Is The New Black” season 4, for example, had 15.56 million 18-49 viewers in that window (with a rating of 11.25), followed by “Fuller House” (15.23 million, 11.01), “Stranger Things” (13.23 million, 9.56), “Making a Murderer” (12.28 million, 8.87) and “Marvel’s Daredevil” season 2 (8.18 million, 5.92), per SymphonyAM.

Another data provider, Parrot Analytics, tracks demand for TV shows as an indicator of intent to view. Among U.S. consumers, the company measured 22.2 million total “demand expressions” for “The Get Down” in the week following its release. That put it at No. 6 for Aug. 14-20 for all TV shows, behind “Game of Thrones” (43.7 million), “Stranger Things” (38.9 million), “Mr. Robot” (33.6 million), “Preacher” (23.9 million), and “The Walking Dead” (23.1 million).

But the buzz for “Get Down” quickly died down, falling 40% in the second week and 21% and 30%, respectively, over the next two weeks, to 7.46 million demand expressions for the week of Sept. 4-10 (trailing “Stranger Things,” “Narcos” and “OITNB” among digital originals), according to Parrot Analytics.

Netflix didn’t respond to a request for comment on the data for “The Get Down,” which was produced by Sony Pictures Television. But company execs have routinely dismissed estimates about video viewing on its platform as inaccurate. In addition, Netflix measures the performance of titles over the entire lifespan of their run on the service, not just in the first few weeks after it debuts. And it’s also worth noting that the data from SymphonyAM and Parrot Analytics covers just the U.S., and Netflix is streaming “Get Down” worldwide.

Meanwhile, critics have been mixed on the show. “The Get Down” has a 74% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, compared with 95% for “Stranger Things” and 96% for “Orange Is the New Black.” “‘Get Down’ is a beautiful mess, a flawed show interspersed with moments of remarkable brilliance,” Variety‘s Sonia Saraiya wrote in her review.

To collect its data, SymphonyAM uses audio-code recognition software that passively measures viewing habits of a panel of more than 15,000 people. Parrot Analytics measures hundreds of billions of data points across multiple platforms, weighting them based on relevance, including YouTube and other video services, social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, fan and critic rating sites, and file-sharing piracy services.

Daniel Holloway contributed to this report.