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Top Ten Most-Watched Netflix Original Shows of 2016

NPR recently reported on Symphony Advanced Media, the recently-formed research company that gathers data by detecting programs via its panelists’ mobile devices’ microphones. It is seen as an alternative to Nielsen Media Research, the ratings company that has measured the audience figures for television since the 1950s.

Symphony has been most useful in tracking over-the-top content like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

NBCUniversal senior vice president of research Alan Wurtzel uses Symphony data. “Folks have migrated to watching a great deal of video content on non-Nielsen-measured devices, like smartphones, like tablets,” Wurtzel said to NPR. “And when you reaggregate all those numbers they basically come right back to where they’ve always been.”

Here are the Top 10 Netflix original series of the past year based on Symphony’s figures of total viewership (aged 18 to 49 years) on the first 35 days of each series’ season premiere date. (Source: NPR)

* Viewers in millions
1 Orange is the New Black 4 June 17, 2016 15.9 (11.52)
2 Fuller House 1 Feb. 25, 2016 15.7 (11.31)
3 Stranger Things 1 July 15, 2016 14.3 (10.36)
4 Making A Murderer 1 Dec. 18, 2015 13.4 (9.65)
5 Marvel’s Luke Cage 1 Sep. 30, 2016 12.0 (8.69)
6 Marvel’s Daredevil 2 Mar. 18, 2016 8.3 (6.03)
7 Marvel’s Jessica Jones 1 Nov. 20, 2015 6.3 (4.52)
8 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2 Apr. 15, 2016 6.1 (4.39)
9 House of Cards 4 Mar. 4, 2016 5.7 (4.10)
10 F is for Family 1 Dec. 18, 2015 4.8 (3.47)

(Note: The ratings and viewership for “Luke Cage” are not finalized due to the program’s recent release.)


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  1. Hilariously misleading numbers!!!

    A given for Netflix “The Most Promotional Company on Earth”…

    Aggregating audience over 35 days… Why not 40? Or 30?..

    But I am getting away from the true problem: This data only represents people with that app. It doesn’t represent the general audience (even though they assumed it did).

    And most importantly, it is not paid for by advertisers and networks. Therefore it is open to all sort of manipulations and exaggerations (as Netflix is wont to do).

    And you have to love the ageism sprayed on top by only giving purported 18-49 numbers even though no advertising was sold and it is usually the excuse given to go all-ageist-all-the-time… Not that Hollywood needs an excuse to be proudly prejudiced…

    One thing we do learn: Orange is the New Black is still the pearl in the eyes of Netflix’s management and House of Cards did something to annoy them…

    • Depends who you talk to. The only two Netflix shows I’ve ever heard talked about (other than in the media which doesn’t count s they’re reacting to PR hype) are House of Cards and Jessica Jones (and Jessica Jones was just one person mentioning it!)

      It’s actually interesting that Netflix has dialed down the PR a lot on their new shows (even if as I pointed out those alleged numbers seem to indicate they are still trying to hype Orange).

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