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Netflix execs say they will finally start releasing viewership data soon
Posted On April 17, 2019
Netflix has gained a reputation for being painfully secret about viewership numbers for its original shows and films, but the company apparently intends to change that policy, as it promises more transparency.
Chief content officer Ted Sarandos spoke about the company’s new transparency initiative during an investors call on Tuesday. Sarandos told investors that the company will start releasing “more specific and granular data and reporting” to different groups soon. Producers will receive those numbers first, followed by subscribers, then press. The goal is to be “more fully transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world,” according to Sarandos.
Netflix has already slowly started to release more data. The company announced in December that more than 45 million accounts watched its horror movie Bird Box within the first seven days of its release. A spokesperson for the company told The Verge at the time that an account must surpass “70 percent of the total running time (including credits)” to be counted as a view. The spokesperson added that “each ‘account’ may include multiple views and viewers, but is only counted once.”
Neither Sarandos nor CEO Reed Hastings expanded on how Netflix data is collected, or what type of information would be released. But Hastings acknowledged that the company will lean into being more transparent “quarter by quarter.”