Netflix has become famous for refusing to release official numbers on how many people are streaming its series. The streaming platform won’t answer any questions from the media on how well a show has been received, nor has it ever worked with Nielsen, the go-to firm for collecting and studying television ratings.
Now, according to Variety, Netflix and Nielsen have released the first set of actual numbers for one of its series: Orange is the New Black. During its 360 Degree conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nielsen revealed that the fourth season premiere of Netflix’s original dramedy about a group of women serving time at a federal penitentiary, scored 6.7 million viewers when the show was made available to stream on June 17. Between June 17 and 19, 5.9 million people watched the second episode.
Nielsen didn’t provide numbers on how many people watched all 13 episodes in the season or any kind of breakdown on whether people binged the season or took it day-by-day, but these numbers do confirm that Netflix’s original series can compete with some of the biggest shows on cable. The most watched show on cable that same week was Game of Thrones with 10.3 million viewers, and there was a dramatic decrease in live viewership for cable’s second most watched program of the same period: the premiere of Major Crimes on TNT, which came in at just under 6 million viewers.
Nielsen also released numbers on syndicated shows, like Seinfeld on Hulu. Within the first five days of signing up for the service, more than 700,000 people will watch classic episodes of Seinfeld. These numbers prove that as popular and in-demand original content is for streaming services, having a catalogue of older series that people can throw on in the background was just as important.
Nielsen did not say if it was planning on releasing other numbers for Netflix, Hulu or Amazon original series, but this is definitely a start. All four seasons of Orange is the New Black are currently available to stream on Netflix.