How many people actually watch Netflix shows?

Traditional networks tend to hate streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, not because those services are taking their viewers, but because those services don’t report many viewers they actually have. Shows like House of Cards and Transparent are winning awards left-and-right, but how many people watch those shows?

While the media reports ratings on every network and cable show on a daily basis, they don’t do the same for streaming services. It’s not that they just want to, it’s that there’s no way to monitor the services’ ratings without them actually giving that information up themselves. And they won’t do that.

Netflix is notorious for keeping their viewership of original shows secret, though they do say how many users they have. But that’s not the same thing, is it?

During the TCA press tour, NBC analytics guru Alan Wurtzel presented data by technology company Symphony, which reveals estimated viewership numbers for shows like Jessica Jones and Narcos (keyword: estimated). The data measures average viewership between September and December 2015 (via EW).

  • Jessica Jones — 4.8 million
  • Master of None — 3.9 million
  • Narcos — 3.2 million
  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon) — 2.1 million

While those are great numbers, and better than many shows, like Arrow and The Flash, they’re still far lower than shows like NCIS and The Walking Dead, which nets over ten million viewers.