Netflix to reveal comprehensive viewership data on all shows for first time

FRESH off the buzz of Spotify’s Wrap that broke down in minute detail subscribers listening habits, another streaming giant has followed suit.

Netflix Inc revealed on Tuesday (Dec 12) that it will be sharing data on what its subscribers are consuming.

According to Bloomberg, the disclosure by Netflix – the most-detailed ever for any streaming service – follows a months-long fight between Hollywood labour unions and major studios.

In the wake of the two strikes, writers and actors won more compensation for their work in streaming and their pay hinges in part on greater disclosure of US viewer data by services like Netflix.

Now, the company is giving everyone – viewers, suppliers and competitors – a deeper look into what people are watching with the semi-annual “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report”.

Previously, Netflix published a Top 10 list but no information was available on its many other titles and content.

More recently, writers and producers have criticised Netflix, arguing that it was hiding audience data to avoid paying more for its most successful programmes.

This lack of transparency created “mistrust over time” with creatives, according to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.

According to a statement on Netflix’s website, the streaming service provider has furnished more information about what people are watching than any other streamer except YouTube since launching its weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists in 2021.

The statement proclaimed:

Since launching our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists in 2021, Netflix has provided more information about what people are watching than any other streamer except YouTube.

And now we believe it’s time to go further.

Starting today, we will publish What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report twice a year. This is a comprehensive report of what people watched on Netflix over a six-month period, including:

  • Hours viewed for every title – original and licensed – watched for over 50,000 hours;
  • The premiere date for any Netflix TV series or film; and
  • Whether a title was available globally.

In total, this report covers more than 18,000 titles – representing 99% of all viewing on Netflix – and nearly 100 billion hours viewed.

While the move is seen as a direct consequence of the writer’s strike, there can be no doubt that Netflix executives saw the potential for greater consumer engagement by making this data available.

By making such numbers public, Netflix hopes to generate more hype by attracting even more viewers to its programming.

The data revealed that the political thriller The Night Agent was the most-watched title globally in 1H 2023, generating 812.1 million hours of viewing. That was followed by Season 2 of the family drama Ginny & Georgia and the debut of The Glory, a South Korean series.

By making this data public, Netflix is banking on even more consumers tuning in to the more popular series, like the ones mentioned above. But over time, the streaming giant will also be hoping for a spillover effect in its other content. – Dec 14, 2023

Main pic credit: Money

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