3rdPartyFeeds News

Netflix promises more information on what people are watching

As Netflix Inc. becomes more of a standard viewing option, it is promising to offer information like a standard media company. Read More...

As Netflix Inc. becomes more of a standard viewing option, it is promising to offer information like a standard media company.

In its earnings report Tuesday, Netflix NFLX, +3.04%  offered select viewership metrics on select content, as it began doing in the previous quarter. In a video interview, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said that Netflix expects to go farther and release such information regularly.

“Over the next several months, we’re going to be rolling out more specific granular reporting — first to our producers, and then to our members and of course to the press over time — and be more fully transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world,” Sarandos said.

Read: Netflix attracts a record new number of subscribers, but the stock isn’t reacting like usual

In Tuesday’s letter to investors, Netflix said that more than 52 million subscribers watched “Triple Frontier,” a big-budget action movie starring Ben Affleck, in its first four weeks of availability, and that the series “Umbrella Academy” was watched by 45 million member households in its first four weeks. It said that “The Highwaymen,” a film starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson, was on track to attract 40 million subscribers in its first four weeks; the documentary “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened,” was watched by 20 million subscribers in its first month; and the documentary series ”Our Planet” was on track to be watched by 25 million members in the first month of release.

Traditional media companies regularly release ratings information, and companies such as Nielsen Holdings PLC NLSN, -1.36%  offer ratings on a wider scale. The information helps advertisers select programming to place ads, which Netflix has long pointed out does not affect its commercial-free streaming service.

As the service has grown, however, many have clamored for information that would help show if a show is a hit, especially the creators who make content for Netflix. Sarandos repeatedly mentioned in his statement that producers of Netflix content were a focus of the viewership information.

There is no independent way to verify Netflix’s data, and some in Hollywood have criticized Netflix’s unique viewership methodology — for a TV series, for example, it counts viewers who watched 70% or more of a single episode.

“We’re just beginning to start to share that data,” Chief Executive Reed Hastings said Tuesday. “We’ll be leaning into that more quarter by quarter.”

Any ratings information could also help Netflix show its reach as it faces new competition, and potentially pressure those rivals to release their own viewership metrics. Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.01%   and Walt Disney Inc. DIS, -1.62%   have both showed off new streaming entrants this year, joining streaming competitors that also include Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.98%  and Hulu.

Read More

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment