- The third season of the wildly-popular Netflix series "House of Cards" appeared on the streaming site Wednesday afternoon a full two weeks early—only to be yanked about 30 minutes later.
- News of the incident, from the first whispers to the jokes after it was pulled, quickly spread across social media. Reuters reported that 55,000 Tweets about the show were sent in the hour that the incident took place.
- Netflix is blaming the leak on a technical glitch, but the show's Twitter accounts responded with some clever Tweets.
This is Washington. There's always a leak. All 13 episodes will launch February 27.— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) February 11, 2015
Did you really think I'd give everything away? Did you really. Good things come to those who wait. Good things and trains. #HouseOfCards— Francis J. Underwood (@RepUnderwoodSC) February 11, 2015
If you're watching House of Cards, don't refresh!— Nate Jones (@kn8) February 11, 2015
If the early release truly was a technical glitch, then Netflix couldn't have asked for a happier accident. The buzz for the third season was already loud, but now it's near deafening. The lesson? No matter how smart your marketing strategy, sometimes the best publicity can come from mistakes. Just ask Arby's.
Many are not convinced this was an accident, however. Whether or not Netflix intended to tease House of Cards fans, the accidental or surprise early release has become a growing trend in the entertainment industry. Just look at Beyonce, who unexpectedly dropped her last album in late 2013 with no advance warning. Being able to truly surprise consumers (in a good way, at least) is becoming a hard-to-beat marketing tactic. Stunt or not, Netflix appears to have struck marketing gold.
Twitter has not responded to a request for an updated number of mentions since the early release.