Study Finds Viewership Of Past Seasons Increases On Netflix With The Premiere Of A New Season


When Netflix is about to release a new season for its original series, fans are well prepared before its premiere date to know when it's coming. Between releasing set photos and teasers on social media leading up to shows' air dates, Netflix knows how to spread word about its upcoming content.

Let's not forget that Netflix puts all its content right in members' faces, featuring a "Netflix Originals" slider on its homepage to allow members to easily find the exclusive series or movies that will be their next obsession when looking for something new to watch.

However, according to new study, it's when a new season is about to premiere on the platform that viewership for that specific series increases.

The analytics firm 7Park Data released a new reported on Tuesday that taps into the tech of its new product called TV Intelligence, which uses anonymized user data from millions of streams pulled from the company's data to reveal trends in over-the-top streaming services. That data includes a global collection of more than one million active users that collectively stream over one million hours of content each day.

The study found that, when a new season premieres on Netflix, lots of viewers are watching past seasons as well.

Take, for example, the season 4 premiere of Orange is the New Black — the series that 7Park Data found to be the number one show on Netflix globally after its June release. The study found that, when season 4 launched in mid-June, viewership of all three previous seasons also increased.

Additionally, the study found that a trend in binge-watching series "is common with new launches on Netflix."

Interestingly enough, this trend in viewership also continues even when it's not an original series premiering.

The study found that Netflix has a smaller amount of viewership than for licensed shows on its platform. That's because, although the number of original series have increased on the streaming service, there still remains a larger library of licensed series.

However, when a new season of a non-original series is about to debut on Netflix, viewership of past seasons of said series also increases.

"For both groups, the biggest driver at play here is the catch up factor. It's obvious for new viewers, who want to be up to date on the previous seasons, but it's also happening for repeat viewers," 7Park Data co-founder Brian Lichtenberger told Tech Times.  "We're in the thick of a culture that not only endorses, but embraces binge watching. It's not uncommon for people who want a continuous experience with their favorite show to rewatch the last three seasons right before a new season premieres."

The study cites the launch of season 6 of Pretty Little Liars, which also premiered in June. 7Park Data found that past seasons of the series had increased in viewership that month as well.

Even so, Pretty Little Liars had only 40 percent of the viewership of OITNB in June.

"One reason for this is because the show was already aired on cable television earlier in 2016, whereas Netflix launched all 13 episodes of OITNB on June 19, encouraging binge watching," the report states.

The study also confirmed that viewership of original content on Netflix increased in general during the time after it releases the new content compared with periods when popular original content isn't added. For example, streaming for Daredevil season 2 increased by 23.70 percent in March after its release.

While many of its original series have been home run hits for the platform, its original movies haven't caught on as much among viewers. The report found that, although the original film The Do-Over was the number one rated movie in June, it was a licensed title, Nymphomaniac, Volume I, that had the largest growth when it came to viewership.

It might be more wise for Netflix to continue to invest in ongoing series like Stranger Things and Narcos, which are popular among members, rather than films that are a one-shot deal. 

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