In the race to discover what TV viewers want most, the answer might be abundantly clear: Nostalgia will almost certainly always kick excitement's butt. AMC's The Walking Dead has long been the reigning champion of TV, averaging around 12 million viewers an episode. But are these numbers only impressive because Netflix and Amazon don't release viewing numbers for their shows? It appears so.
We have some insight into Netflix's viewership thanks to Symphony Advanced Media, a company that collects data on streaming services. It describes itself thusly:
[A] single source data collection - understanding the behavior of consumers across multi media with a representative panel of consumers, providing advertisers, media companies and market research firms, the opportunity for insights into this behavior.
According to Symphony, Netflix show Fuller House averaged 14.4 million viewers among the ages 18–49 crowd in the first 35 days of its release. Fueled heavily by the sentimentality of the original series — which ran from the late-'80s to the early-'90s — the follow-up was bashed by critics when it was released on Netflix in February. But its negative reception apparently did nothing to keep people from watching every episode.
Of course, we have to reason that viewers are far more likely to continue watching a show they aren't particularly enjoying, simply because of the bingeing nature of the streaming service. If asked to tune in at the same time each week, those numbers may have looked vastly different. But then again, the night Fuller House premiered on Netflix, TV usage numbers dropped 3 percent from the previous week and made it the lowest night of TV watching since the festive season.
If network television thinks viewers schedule their Netflix watching around live airings, they're wrong. And Netflix's decision to renew Fuller House for a second season now makes quite a bit of sense.