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Netflix originals see viewership bump ahead of season premieres, says study

It's official, cord-cutters like catching up on a show before a new season premieres.

While the overall viewership for original content is smaller than for licensed shows on Netflix —which makes sense given that licensed content outnumbers originals — both kinds of content see increased consumption ahead of the release of new episodes, according to a report published by analytics firm 7Park Data on Tuesday.

Networks have long considered TV marathons as essential for building hype for their new content. Andy Cohen, former executive vice president of original programming and development at Bravo, has previously told CNBC that his network saw boosted season premiere numbers after it blanketed its air time with reruns of "Project Runway."

What 7Park Data's findings reveal is that audiences will also participate in similar behavior on their own.

After analyzing data of over 1 million monthly active users of over-the-top services, 7Park Data found that in June, original content drew 13.71 percent of total views on average. The data firm noted, however, that there are substantial changes in this ratio of original to library content views when Netflix launches new content.

Source: 7Park Data

On June 16, for example, Netflix originals drew just 10.98 percent of total views. When the streaming giant launched the fourth season of "Orange Is the New Black" on the following day, original content surged to 23.01 percent of total views.

But not all Netflix originals are able to drive this spike in viewership, Brian Lichtenberger, co-founder of 7Park Data told CNBC. He explained that this effect is most pronounced for Netflix's high-profile shows such as "Orange Is the New Black."

What 7Park Data's report validates is Netflix's strategy of expanding its library of original content to drive member acquisition.

In its most recent shareholder letter, the company said, "original content provides Netflix with many benefits: new programming that debuts on Netflix, exclusivity, greater creative and business control, global rights and brand halo. These merits outweigh the timing of cash payments."

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns Bravo.

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