Netflix doesn't track or publicize viewership in a traditional way, so it's often difficult to see the immediate impact debuting a network show on the streaming service can have on weekly viewership. However, tt seems that people are binge-watching shows on Netflix, catching up, and continuing to watch new episodes as they air, a trend on full display for the new season of The CW's Riverdale .
According to The Hollywood Reporter, CW executives weren't initially optimistic that they could turn Netflix popularity into live popularity. "Probably more people watched it on Netflix thinking it was a Netflix show," CW Executive VP of Marketing and Digital Rick Haskins said. "Our real challenge was taking those viewers and moving them over to The CW." Still, he led an aggressive push to let viewers know that new episodes of Riverdale could only be found on The CW and the affiliated streaming service.
The results are impressive. In the first day of availability, the Riverdale Season 2 premiere became the most watched episode the CW streaming service had ever offered, and Riverdale's teen audience is reportedly up 400 percent, contributing to record-high ratings for the episode's broadcast.
Working with the wide Netflix user base, the CW team directed enthusiastic viewers back to their own network, driving ratings up. It's a tricky balance -- if the streaming service was less user-friendly, or the marketing initiative was mis-targeted, there would not be these kind of results. But it seems the CW is on track to overcome the new hurdles of the age of streaming.
Airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Riverdale stars K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy and Casey Cott as Kevin Keller.