'House of Cards' Binge-Viewers Score Big For Netflix
This Valentine's Day weekend was apparently a perfect storm for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). As much of America endured another round of blizzard-like weather, the video-streaming service opened the flood gates and aired the entire second season of its popular political drama, House of Cards.
And it appears a lot of the nation's couch potatoes – including President Barack Obama – were geared up for some serious binge-viewing – a strategy that paid off, big-time, for Netflix.
“On a US Cable Network, 16 percent of the Netflix subscribers watched at least one episode of House of Cards (on Friday),” Cam Cullen, Vice President of Global Marketing at the broadband technology firm Procera, noted on the company's web site.
“Last year, that number was 2 percent on a similar sized network over the entire weekend. That is a MASSIVE difference. “
CNBC, meanwhile, reports Netflix share prices hit a record high on Thursday, just before the House of Cards marathon. The company's stock has also jumped about 130 percent in the last year.
The Netflix format of original programs, combined with old movies, has gained it an international audience of 44 million subscribers in 41 countries – who according to The Guardian watch over one billion hours of television and movies every month on the web-only service.
Speaking on CNBC, Kosha Gada, a principal consultant at A.T. Kearney, noted Netflix now has more users than HBO, its cable network rival owned by Time Warner (NYSE: TWX), which also produces its own original content.
However, "acquiring content is increasingly expensive,” she warned, “there is more and more competition from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google getting into this field which drives up the prices of the content.”
But Gada said concerns that binge-viewers on Netflix would stay away from the service, after gorging on House of Cards and other programming, did not surface. “They are retaining people,” she added, “and I think the future is bright for them.”
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