Keeping Your Cards -- And Viewing Data -- Close To The Vest
Estimates range from as few as 2.2 million (7% of Netflix’s subscribers) to as high as 4.8 million (15%). Either of those would be a non-event in comparison with any broadcast network show -- and of somewhat mild interest in comparison with cable shows.
One would think Netflix’s rapidly growing business model would want to hit the gas and grab any potential extra publicity -- not just to lure new subscribers, but also producers, directors and other talent.
Apparently this isn’t necessary, because Netflix doesn’t sell advertising, says Ted Sarandos, chief content officer. But neither do HBO or Showtime.
Netflix has pitched me numerous times to resubscribe after having been a member for a short time a while ago. But those promotions have never touted in any big way that Netflix is the exclusive platform for “House of Cards,” a critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated drama. Of course, that’s not the entire point. Netflix believes it cannot live and die by one series.
In the future, apples-to-oranges comparisons of video viewing are sure to multiply and get more complicated. Many digital platforms are already struggling with such measurements as “view-to-completion” and “view-to-engagement.”
With “House of Cards,” however, we are told by the new electronic water coolers -- social media platforms -- that it’s something good to watch. Is that enough?
Here’s another small and yet-to-be-determined-value data point to throw onto the pile: The second-season trailer of “House of Cards” has already posted 2.13 million views on YouTube. The first season’s trailer had 2.4 million views in total. Have fun extrapolating.