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Here Are the Original Shows Netflix Viewers Say They're Watching

"Orange," "House of Cards" and ... "Kimmy Schmidt." "It’s a miracle!"

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Netflix won’t tell anyone how many people watch its home-grown shows like “Orange Is the New Black.” But lots of people want to know.

Here’s one way to guess: Ask Netflix users what they watch.

That’s what RBC analyst Mark Mahaney does, via a survey he sends out a couple times a year.

You can see the results below (focus on the pink bars, which represent the most recent results). And if you hate reading charts, here’s the takeaway: More than half of Netflix viewers say they’ve watched “Orange Is the New Black” and nearly half say they’ve watched “House of Cards.” Marvel’s “Daredevil,” released last spring, has done well, and so has “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (which is awesome — you should watch it if you haven’t).

Meanwhile, the company’s “Marco Polo” swords-and-horsemen epic, which got a lousy critical reception, hasn’t made a big impact with viewers, either.

There are obvious caveats here, starting with the fact that this survey doesn’t tell us how many episodes people watched, or if they liked them. You can also take the data with big chunks of salt, since it is a self-reported survey, filled out by 453 people in the U.S.

That said, at a minimum you can note the results have stayed consistent of over the years. Lots of people continue to say they’ve watched “Orange”; not many people say they’ve watched “Lilyhammer.”

The fact that “Orange” is the most popular show on RBC’s survey also dovetails with commentary from Netflix, which said that it set a record for streaming hours in June, “led by ‘Orange.’”

And while the data may be imperfect, we probably won’t do better anytime soon. In the past, some tech companies have figured out how to sneak peeks at Netflix viewers’ streaming habits, via “deep packet inspection.” But Netflix moved to plug that hole last year, and if people have figured out a new workaround I haven’t heard about it. And if you have, let me know! I’m all ears.

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