House of Cards season 3 debut causes traffic and Twitter spikes

Netflix still isn’t releasing any ratings for season 3 of House of Cards, which premiered on the service last Friday, but there are some indicators suggesting that the show is doing pretty well: Traffic management specialist Sandvine reported this week that the Netflix traffic of one unnamed U.S. ISP grew substantially over the past weekend (hat tip to DSL Reports).

On Friday and Saturday night, that ISP saw 10 to 15 percent more [company]Netflix[/company] traffic than on the preceding weekend. And on Sunday night, traffic was even up 30 to 35 percent, compared to a week ago.


Sandvine Media and Industry Relations Manager Dan Deeth is quick to point out that this doesn’t translate into ratings. The company only sees what kind of traffic goes over a network, not which shows or movies Netflix subscribers are watching. But it’s very likely that the premiere of House of Cards had something to do with the spike.

Netflix itself has never released ratings for any of its shows, with executives arguing that ratings simply don’t matter much to a subscription business. But the company did send over some data this week that suggests that the new season of House of Cards did generate some buzz: People tweeted 648,374 times about the show during its premiere weekend, according to Netflix. And that buzz was almost global, as the top ten cities tweeting about the show included five from outside of the U.S.