“Making a Murderer” has dominated conversations and headlines for nearly three months now, but a new ratings report proves that you don’t need to have a ton of viewers to start building that hype.
For “Making a Murderer,” Netflix’s docuseries about the trial and conviction of Steven Avery in the 2005 murder of a female photographer, the viewership was slow at first.
Netflix is famously guarded about its viewing numbers, but Symphony Advanced Media looks at a sample of users to measure numbers for Netflix and other streaming services that stay quiet about their ratings.
Symphony told Ad Week that only 565,000 average adult viewers watched each episode of “Making a Murderer” when it was released on December 18.
A huge ratings leap for “Making a Murderer”
After its first week, the audience for “Making a Murderer” jumped to 2.3 million viewers. In 14 days, it went to 5.5 million. And by 35 days, 19.3 million viewers watched the series. This reflects a huge boost in viewership as word of mouth and the media surrounding the series increased.
For comparison, using other numbers from Symphony, Netflix’s “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” averaged 8.8 million viewers in the 35-day period. Amazon’s “Man in the High Castle” clocked 3.4 million, and “Transparent” was viewed by 2.1 million.
Nielsen doesn’t report ratings 35 days out, but we took the average daily viewership of “Making a Murderer’s” 35-day window and translated that into live plus seven days, so we can roughly compare it to other TV programs.
Here are some rough comparisons to broadcast shows around the same time period (live plus seven days):
“Jane the Virgin” (The CW) — 1.6 million viewers
“World’s Funniest” (Fox) — 1.9 million viewers
“Making a Murderer” (Netflix) — 3.9 million viewers
“20/20” Friday (ABC) — 4.0 million viewers
“MasterChef” Junior (Fox) — 5.6 million viewers
For the record, Netflix chief Ted Sarandos defended the media company’s ratings secrecy last month at the Television Critics Association press tour by arguing that ratings don’t matter in the streaming business, where revenue is generated from subscribers and not advertising.He also called Symphony’s ratings numbers, which were previously presented in an NBC ratings panel at TCA, “remarkably inaccurate.”
NOW WATCH: The lawyer from ‘Making A Murderer’ describes what’s wrong with America’s criminal justice system
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.