Procera: Netflix's 'Arrested Development' a Success
Based on early streaming statistics, Netflix's launch of "Arrested Development" Sunday was a "success and did have a noticeable effect on network traffic," said Cam Cullen, vice president of global marketing at Procera, a network intelligence company.
Procera works with 600 Internet service providers worldwide, including six of the top 10 cable operators in the U.S. and three of the top five DSL operators.
The number of subscribers logging into Netflix jumped 8 percent while the peak Sunday Internet traffic was 10 percent higher than the prior Sunday at one of Procera's cable networks. And considering that it was a holiday weekend, traffic was expected to drop, so " 'Arrested Development' was a significant contributor to that traffic jump," according to Procera.
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Thirty-six percent of all the devices on one cable network Sunday watched at least part of one episode of "Arrested Development," which Procera called "a staggering number that indicated a huge success."
But here's a more surprising stat: 10 percent of Netflix viewers made it all the way to the 15th and final episode of the season on Sunday or Monday. And on one university network in the U.S., "Arrested Development" represented 10 percent of all Netflix traffic. Now that's binge viewing.
It's not an apples-to-apples comparison with Netflix's "House of Cards," but Cullen said that "from our perspective, 'Arrested Development' had about three times the subscriber viewing that we saw from 'House of Cards.' "
Procera noted just half a percent of subscribers made it to the 13th and final episode of the "House of Cards" drama.
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Considering that "House of Cards" was considered a hit by both critics and investors when Netflix reported better-than-expected first-quarter results, this should bode well for the streaming video company. Reviews for "Arrested Development" were mixed—a far cry from the nearly universally positive reaction to "House of Cards"—which might be one reason the stock pulled back Tuesday.
There's no denying that "Arrested Development" is a quirky enough show—it was canceled from broadcast TV seven years ago—but passion for that unique brand of quirkiness could polarize die-hard fans. And people who never got the humor could have tried and failed to connect with this new version.
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But all this subscriber engagement is a good thing for Netflix: It helps them hold on to subscribers and generates the kind of buzz that draws in more.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will join me for an exclusive interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday morning. We'll be asking him whether Netflix's investment in the show is paying off.
—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin