Netflix released all eight episodes of season 6 on Nov. 2, starring Robin Wright as President Claire Underwood, who navigates new political machinations and scandals — as well as demons from her past. Notably, the last season of “House of Cards” is missing previous star Kevin Spacey after the disgraced actor was dismissed from the show.
In the first seven days of its availability, the season 6 premiere episode received an average minute audience of 2.9 million U.S. viewers compared with 4.4 million for season 5’s first episode over the same time period (May 30-June 5 2017), according to Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings measurement service.
For all eight episodes of “HOC” 6 in the first week of release, the average minute audience was 1.5 million U.S. viewers, a drop from 1.9 million for season 5’s 13 episodes.
In its analysis of “HOC” season 6, Nielsen also found the audience skewed more female and older. Perhaps reflecting the appeal of Wright’s turn as a cold-blooded American president, women accounted for 54% of U.S. viewers for the most recent season in the first seven days, compared with 44% for season 5. Adults 18-34 comprised 22% of season 6’s audience — versus 35% for season 5 — while adults 50-64 accounted for 27% vs. 19% for season 5).
“House of Cards,” produced by studio Media Rights Capital (MRC), first debuted in 2013. It was one of Netflix’s first breakout original series, along with “Orange Is the New Black.”
Today, “HOC” trails behind Netflix’s most popular shows in drawing audience. By comparison, per Nielsen, “Stranger Things” season 2 last year delivered a U.S. audience of 15.8 million for the premiere episode over a much shorter span of three days. Other popular Netflix premieres include “13 Reasons Why” season 2 (6 million for the first episode over its initial three days) and “OITNB” season 6 (5.37 million in the three-day window).
Netflix famously doesn’t divulge viewing metrics. Reasons for that include that, unlike ad-supported TV networks, the streamer doesn’t run commercials. Nielsen’s SVOD estimates come with a few caveats, including that they span only the U.S. and track viewing only on internet-connected TVs (excluding mobile devices and computers).
About 42% of U.S. adults say they pay for subscription VOD services to watch a specific program, according to Nielsen’s MediaTech Trender survey.
Here’s the Nielsen breakdown of U.S. viewing by episode for “HOC” season 6: