‘Arrested Development’ Season 4 Causes Surge in Broadband Traffic Over Memorial Day Weekend

Arrested Development Season 4 Cast

Since Netflix does not release data on its programming, the best source for information about the fourth season of Arrested Development, which was released Sunday, is via broadband tracking service Procera. Here are some highlights from its blog post about the launch.

via press note:

Arrested Development had serious social networking buzz before the launch and due to a built-in audience that fondly remembered the series during it’s original run, expectations were high. From our perspective, the launch was a success, and did have a noticeable affect on network traffic.

Here are a few highlights from the viewing stats:

–       One DSL network had an astounding 36% of devices watching Netflix on Sunday watch at least part of one episode of Arrested Development. This was over 3x the number we saw for House of Cards (which had 11% viewing).

–       Preliminary numbers show about 10% of viewers made it to Episode 15 on Sunday/Monday (More on this later today as we get data collated).

–       One cable network saw a jump in Netflix traffic peak volumes of 10% on Sunday over the previous Sunday, with a corresponding 8% jump in the number of subscribers accessing Netflix overall. Even though this was a holiday weekend, Arrested Development was a significant contributor to that traffic jump.

–       Peak usage for Arrested Development on Netflix on Sunday was twice that traffic seen on Monday, with a range of 2-7% of total Netflix traffic on various networks being directly attributable to Arrested Development.

–       Arrested Development made an appearance on European mobile networks, with one operator seeing ~.01% of overall active subscribers accessing Arrested Development through their PC/Mac systems. This is significant even though the total subscriber counts were low because this was an “unlimited” operator, where Netflix is a much smaller portion of the traffic than on fixed line networks. I suspect much of this was for Fixed Mobile Substitution, where the customer only has a mobile broadband connection and skips a fixed line connection.

–       Arrested Development represented 10% of all Netflix traffic on one University network in the US.

–       Xbox and PS3s generated the most traffic for Arrested Development on fixed line networks. This is pretty common on most networks, with consoles usually being the favored Netflix viewing device, as well as supporting the highest resolution streaming today.

–       There was significant file sharing activity for the Arrested Development episodes, even though this was a streaming only, DRMed connection.

As you might expect, we saw a pattern of episodes appearing on the network as people cycled through the series, with Episode 1 starting early, and other episodes coming on later in the day, indicating that most people watched them in order. We did not get the monitoring in place until around 9:30AM as you can see, but we saw the episodes appear at a pretty regular pace throughout the day. Here is a timeline from one of our networks when the episodes first made an appearance by generating traffic on the network:

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