What Netflix Originals Reveal About Social Media’s Newest Category of Fans: ‘Binge’ Viewers

By Devon Glenn 

People who watch entire seasons of television in one sitting are willing to share where they are in a series, but are careful of revealing spoilers, according to an analysis by social media research firm Fizziology.

These binge viewers, as they’re called, showed very different behaviors for “House of Cards” than they are showing now for the upcoming season of “Arrested Development”:  two Netflix original series that viewers can watch at their own pace.

Fizziology president and co-creator Ben Carlson recalled that during the plot-driven “House of Cards,” where “no one knew where anyone else was,” viewers were more likely to “report how far along they were in the series, versus how they felt about it,” he said. And many talked about binge-watching multiple episodes.

Comedies like “Arrested Development” may or many not have enough of an overarching plot to suck viewers into watching one  episode after the next — that remains to be seen — but Carlson notes that the series will kick off with something that “House of Cards” didn’t already have: “a rich ran base from when they were on the air,” he said.

Netflix decided to revive the cancelled series after it gained momentum through its streaming service and DVD rentals. As a result, the volume of social media posts about the upcoming fourth season of “Arrested Development” was seven times higher than that of the all-new “House of Cards,” Fizziology found.

Here’s a breakdown of the organic conversations, rather than sponsored content, about “Arrested Development”:

Twitter Volume (Past Week): 43,338

Overall Sentiment
Positive: 47%
Neutral: 53%
(There was almost no negative conversation at this point in time).

Gender Breakdown (Of Positive Conversation)
Male: 59%
Female: 41%

Age Breakdown (Of Positive Conversation)
14-18: 5%
19-24: 40%
25-29: 27%
30-34: 22%

The analysts noted that more than half (51%) of the mentions were about the recently released trailer, and most of the viewers were self-identified fans of the show. They added, “There is almost no organic conversation about the banana stands popping up across the world for promotion/marketing or from people who became recently aware/new fans of the show.”