Prison, gender topics, race politics, a Netflix original – we can only be talking about one thing, right? In terms of audience popularity, Orange continues to be the new Black four years after it originally aired, and across the world excitement is already growing in an anticipation of the series five launch on June 9, 2017.
The story of complex, interlinked characters co-existing in a women’s prison complex, Orange is the New Black is a streaming phenomenon, achieving an estimated viewership of 20m in the US during March 2017 – the most popular show on Netflix – as well as hitting the top of the viewing charts in the UK.
Beyond this however, it’s the best example of how streaming has fundamentally changed the way many viewers – particularly younger audiences – consume content. For starters, that figure of 20m viewers wasn’t just a one-off during March. It’s the same number of viewers the show had during December to January 2016/17. And, what’s more remarkable, is that the season four episodes all dropped back in June 2016, so the show was continuing to outperform all other streaming content six months after the last injection of new content appeared.The fact that viewership for Orange is the New Black still reached impressive metrics even months after its release in June demonstrates the unique opportunity for brands entering the world of product integration.
As of March, in the US a staggering 79% of OITNB viewers watched 2 or more episodes at once, with nearly one third (32%) of viewers watching 3 or more in a single sitting. Figures in the UK are similarly impressive; over Dec/Jan 42% of UK viewers watched 2-3 episodes at once, 36% watching 4 or more at a time. It seems that its’ US setting and portrayal of American society have proved no barrier to popularity across the Atlantic.
The fact that viewership for Orange is the New Black still reached impressive metrics even months after its release in June demonstrates the unique opportunity for brands entering the world of product integration. Today smart brands have a chance to really capitalise on the long tail popularity of these streaming shows generated by ongoing and residual buzz. Not only that, but with such excessive binge-watching taking place, they get to put their brands in front of viewers for hours, rather than minutes, at a time. Ultimately, product integration in such shows isn’t just a short-term hit… it’s a chance to reach a vast audience over a prolonged period.