Yesterday we made our best attempt at predicting how many Americans will watch the 2nd season of Netflix’s political drama House of Cards. While we may never know how accurate those predictions turn out to be, we feel better about our ability to profile the kinds of people who will tune in and how they will watch the show. Based on thousands of surveys we’ve conducted and our proprietary DeepProfile™ analytics platform, here’s what we think we know about the 7-8% of Internet-enabled consumes who are most likely to watch the show:
WHO IS GOING TO WATCH?
The people most likely to watch the new season of House of Cards are those aged 25-44, including 15% of people aged 25-29, 14% of those aged 30-34, and 11% of those aged 35-44. We then see a steep drop-off, with only 5% of people over age 44 planning to watch. We also found that men were slightly more likely (13% more, in fact) to watch. A noteworthy level of consistency can be seen across the major race categories, with an equal percentage of White, Hispanic, and African American respondents saying they are “Very Likely” to watch the show.
We found more marked differences, however, when we looked at the income and education of likely viewers. People making more than $125,000 in annual household income are 80% more likely than the average consumer to watch House of Cards; People making more than $150,000 are 50% more likely. Similarly, a respondent’s level of education closely correlated with their likelihood to watch the show. People with College or Technical degrees were 15% more likely than average, while those with a Graduate Degree or PhD were 49% more likely to watch. These findings could be stem both from the nature or content of the show or, simply, the fact that access to high-speed internet and streaming devices over-indexes among wealthier, more educated respondents.
What about the political ideologies of the viewers, which could be interesting given the political focus of the show? Here we see a huge split. Respondents who identify themselves as Democrats are 57% more likely than the average respondent to say they are “Very Likely” to watch the show. Republicans, meanwhile, are 41% LESS likely. So-called “Independent” voters fell right in line with the norm. On one hand, this political split could owe to the fact that the House of Cards audience and the Democratic voting population skew younger; Or, it could be influenced by the nature and content of the show. We would need to explore that further to be sure.
One thing for certain is that the likely House of Cards viewer is much more politically engaged than the non-viewer. Very Likely viewers of the show are 69% more likely than non-viewers to say that they contribute financially to candidates, political parties, or political causes. They’re 59% more likely to say they read political websites or blogs at least weekly. No surprise there.
HOW ARE THEY PLANNING TO WATCH?
One of the more intriguing aspects of Netflix’s original programming is how the shows are released, all at once. This allows people to watch every episode right away, spread them out over time, or even wait to start viewing, perhaps in the summer, when they have more time for casual entertainment. This dynamic would give a traditional ratings model fits.
We asked respondents to describe how they plan to watch House of Cards, either by binge-watching a lot of episodes in one sitting, watching a couple episodes per sitting, or watching a single episode periodically. The results were remarkably evenly split.
We did find some key differences among these groups. In line with the overall viewership numbers but far more pronounced, it appears that people aged 25 to 34 are far more likely to binge-watch the show. People aged 30-34 are a full three times more likely to watch all or most of the show in one sitting. We also saw a higher propensity for binge-watching among Hispanic respondents than among other races. We saw no discernible differences between men and women.
To anyone who has kids, this data point will come as no surprise: Parents are less likely to binge-watch the show and 36% more likely to say they will watch a couple episodes at a time. Speaking as someone with two children under the age of 10, I’m lucky to get in one hour of TV viewing in a sitting, let alone twelve. People without kids, on the other hand, are 48% more likely than others to binge-watch. How nice that must be…
One area where we see the viewership style diverge from the overall viewership numbers is household income. The wealthiest respondents (those making over $125k annually) are NOT more likely to binge-watch. In fact, they are a whopping 132% more likely to watch the show a couple episodes at a time. This can probably be explained by the fact that the highest earners have the busiest professional lives and, therefore, need to grab their TV-viewing time when they can.
So there you have it. I, for one, cannot wait to watch the new season of House of Cards. Unfortunately, I’ll probably take much longer than my younger, child-less, less-job-obsessed neighbors to get through the whole season. I’ll report back when that happens – hopefully before season three is released.