"Making a Murderer" was even more popular than we thought
Making a Murderer was released on Netflix in full on December 18. Whether you’ve seen it or not, you’ve definitely heard about it. In the last 3 months, the Netflix original 10-episode docuseries has captivated audiences, jammed up your social feed, and inspired a slew of new theories on the case and Steven Avery’s innocence. And if you haven’t seen it, you’re definitely in the minority.
Netflix doesn’t release ratings or viewership for their shows, but the streaming service has 43 million U.S. subscribers (that number obviously doesn’t include those borrowing their bestie or boyfriend’s password). Symphony Advanced Media, a data tracking company, gathered intel on Netflix by looking at a sample of their users to measure numbers for the streaming service. Using that data, they reported to Ad Week that only 565,000 adult viewers watched each episode of Making a Murderer on the day of its initial release.
Doesn’t seem like much, right?
Within the first week, ratings for Making a Murderer increased to 2.3 million viewers. Within two weeks, that number nearly doubled, jumping up to 5.5 million. By the 35 day mark, 19.3 million viewers had watched the series. That’s nearly half of Netflix’s U.S. subscriber audience. That basically means that nearly 1 out of 2 people has watched the series. Woah.
Of course, you should take this information with a grain of salt. According to Business Insider, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that this way of measuring ratings is “remarkably inaccurate,” and continued to defend Netflix’s policy of ratings-secrecy. “If we turn it into a weekly box score, like TV, it will be negative,” he said, noting that subscribers would probably leave Netflix if they thought their favorite shows were in danger of being canceled. That fear just isn’t an issue for regular television networks.
Regardless of how accurate the numbers are, it’s pretty obvious that the series has sparked some serious interest.