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‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 6 Ratings: Down, But Still Strong, According to Nielsen

Take it with a grain of salt, but the latest numbers show "OITNB" Season 6 ahead of "The Crown" but below "13 Reasons Why."

Orange Is the New Black

“Orange Is the New Black”

Cara Howe / Netflix

Now that Nielsen has been attempting to measure streaming video on-demand services like Netflix for several years now, it can start using apples-to-apples comparisons to track how a show is doing — at least, according to its own measurements. The first episode of “Orange Is the New Black” Season 6, for example, received an average minute audience of over 5.3 million U.S. viewers in its first three days of availability.

To compare, in 2016, Nielsen reported that the first episode of “Orange Is the New Black” Season 4 averaged 6.7 million U.S. viewers during its first three days of availability. (Nielsen didn’t report “OITNB’s” Season 5 ratings to the media.)

That shows a natural erosion for the show, but as Nielsen reports, “OITNB” “continues to be one of the most watched streaming original series, especially among the key 18-49 demographic.”

But “Orange Is the New Black” is no longer close to being Netflix’s No. 1 show. This puts Season 6 of “OITNB” below the first episode of “13 Reasons Why’s” Season 2, which Nielsen reported with a per-minute average audience of 6.1 million viewers within the first three days of availability. And of course, “Stranger Things,” which averaged 15.8 million viewers for the first episode of its Season 2, still dwarfs them all. “OITNB” is ahead of “Glow,” which averaged 1.3 million viewers in the first three days for its first episode of Season 2, and “The Crown,” which averaged nearly 3 million viewers in the first three days for Season 2’s first episode.

Among other stats from Nielsen: Over its first three days of availability, the show’s sixth season received an average minute audience of nearly 2.6 million U.S. viewers, and around 73 percent of that audience was adults 18-49. Also over its first three days of availability, about 66% of the average minute audience was female.

Keep in mind, Netflix continues to dismiss Nielsen’s numbers. Two years ago, when Nielsen last released “OITNB” numbers, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told IndieWire he wasn’t impressed. “Subscriber growth, not advertising, drives our revenues. We’ll do great by attracting more members… The performance of any given title in the U.S. in any given time period, the focus of the ratings companies has no relevance for us,” he said.

Nielsen has been working on its streaming ratings methodology for some time, but critics say its numbers are still underrepresented because it uses people meter boxes, the same ones that measure broadcast and cable ratings, for Netflix measurement.

Here’s the episodic breakdown of how many people watched each episode within the first three days of availability:

Episode 1 averaged 5.4 million U.S. viewers P2+ watching and 3.8 million people 18-49 viewing on the TV.
Episode 2 averaged 4.8 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 3 averaged 4.3 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 4 averaged 3.7 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 5 averaged 3.2 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 6 averaged 2.8 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 7 averaged 2.2 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 8 averaged 1.8 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 9 averaged 1.6 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 10 averaged 1.4 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 11 averaged 1.2 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 12 averaged 1.1 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability
Episode 13 averaged 993,000 viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability

Overall:

Season 6 averaged 2.6 million viewers P2+ viewing over the first three days of its availability and 1.9 million people 18-49

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