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Amazon's 'Transparent' trounced by 'Fuller House,' other Netflix shows in viewership poll

When critics and awards committees alike adore a show, many assume that it must be a hit with audiences as well, but that isn’t always the case. Getting hard data out of streaming outlets like Netflix and Amazon is like pulling teeth, but a recent Variety report gives us a rare sneak peak at the viewership figures for some of TV’s most acclaimed shows.

Chief among the revelations provided by Symphony Advanced Media’s data is the surprisingly underwhelming performance of Amazon’s Transparent. While the show has a Golden Globe and a slew of Emmys to its name, its viewership pales in comparison to less-acclaimed series.

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The data logged viewership of Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix original series within 35 days of their premieres and found that Transparent tallied just 1.5 million total adult viewers. This compared to the 21.5 million that streamed Netflix’s Fuller House.

The study was conducted from September 21, 2015, to May 2, 2016, and also shows Transparent lagging well behind another Amazon original: The Man in the High Castle. That series attracted 3.44 million total adults in the period measured, making it the streamer’s highest-rated program.

More than anything, however, this data proves just how dominant Netflix’s original series are, with shows like Fuller House (21.5 million total adult viewers) Jessica Jones (9.3 million), House of Cards (9 million), Master of None (5.9 million), and Love (4 million) all outpacing anything offered by Amazon.

While you might be thinking that its rival simply has a larger user base, the opposite may be true. Amazon hasn’t revealed just how many Prime subscribers it has, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates the number at 54 million in the U.S. alone. By comparison, Netflix claims only 46 million.

In any case, this data is certainly interesting. Unlike network television, streamers can afford to release more niche shows that — though they might not attract scores of viewers — help establish a reputation for quality content. It’s a reality that helped bring about the streaming revolution, and we can only hope that Amazon doesn’t overreact to these numbers by tinkering with the formula of one of the best shows on TV.