Netflix does not reveal ‘House of Cards’ audience numbers to the creator of the show

Posted Apr 27, 2014

Netflix never shares the viewership data on its high-profile series “House of Cards” or any other of its shows. However, the “House of Cards” creator has no problem with this because it could affect his process.

“I have no idea how many people watch ‘House of Cards,'” stated Beau Willimon, the creator of the Netflix original show. He said this while on stage at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday.

Netflix analyzes viewer-preference data to determine what type of shows have a strong audience among its subscriber base. If a Netflix show becomes a hit based on a strong audience, the video streaming company stays hands-off in the creative process.

“Netflix closely guards [viewership] data for a whole host of reasons, and I’m glad that they do, I wouldn’t want access to that data,” added Willimon. “That sort of data leads to pandering, which is the antithesis of creativity.”

Willimon does read the reviews from people that gave the show only one or two stars though.

Some of the criticisms that he has seen is a dog being killed in the first 30 seconds of the show. He believes that these people aren’t meant to be viewers of the show. But if there is a widespread confusion of a plot point, then he knows he needs to improve.

You can hear a full audio recording of the discussion here.