It’s been a little more than two weeks since Netflix released its long-awaited original series House of Cards to the public. The entire first season of the show, which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and was produced by David Fincher, was released at once, leading many subscribers to binge-watch over the first few weeks.
Netflix has been mum on viewership of House of Cards, preferring so far not to break out the number of subscribers who have watched it or how many hours they’ve watched. The company has said, however, that the program is its most-watched show. And research from financial services firm Cowen and Company suggests that Netflix’s original programming is already starting to pay dividends for the streaming service.
Cowen surveyed 1,200 people last week, of which about 28 percent were paying Netflix subscribers, and another 18 percent had access to a Netflix streaming account. Of those, about 10 percent had watched House of Cards during the first few weeks it was available. And they’re not just watching one episode — on average, Netflix viewers had streamed an average of six episodes of the new original series.
Viewers generally rated the series well, with 80 percent saying it was “good” or “exceptional.” Viewers also liked Netflix making all 13 episodes of the first season available at the same time. According to the survey, 90 percent viewed that release plan positively, as they gobbled up multiple episodes per viewing session.
The release schedule and the quality of the show could have a positive effect on Netflix subscriber retention, according to the survey. About 86 percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to cancel after viewing House of Cards. And the new original programming could bring in more subscribers. Thirty-four percent of all those surveyed said they were aware of Netflix’s original programming plans. The largest percentage were aware of Netflix’s plans to bring back Arrested Development, with another 19 percent of everyone surveyed aware of House of Cards.
The survey also found that current subscribers watch about 6.5 hours of content a week on about 2.5 devices per account. Approximately 23 percent of Netflix subscribers said they had cancelled their cable or satellite TV service. Those who had cancelled watched about 8.5 hours of content on average.