Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Netflix Releases Vast Viewing Data for First Time

A new spreadsheet contains data for all shows that were watched by Netflix users for more than 50,000 hours -- that is 18,000 titles in total, representing 99 percent of all viewing on Netflix.

The report, which Netflix says will be repeated every six months, is a major change for a company that has historically guarded its data closely but came under renewed pressure to be more transparent during the 2023 strikes from unions. of Hollywood writers and actors.

LOS ANGELES: Netflix released detailed viewing figures for thousands of its shows and movies for the first time on Tuesday, offering an unprecedented look at the world’s leading streaming platform’s biggest hits and highest-profile flops.

The report, which Netflix says will be repeated every six months, is a major change for a company that has historically guarded its data closely but came under renewed pressure to be more transparent during this year’s strikes by workers. unions of Hollywood writers and actors.

“This is a huge step forward for Netflix and our industry,” the company said in a press release.

“We believe the viewing insights in this report… will give creators and our industry deeper insight into our audiences and what resonates with them.”

Since 2021, Netflix has published weekly top 10 lists and a “most popular” leaderboard that is updated periodically based on views within the first 91 days of a title on the platform.

But the new biannual publication, titled “What We Saw: A Netflix Engagement Report,” goes further.

A new spreadsheet contains data on all shows that were watched by Netflix users for more than 50,000 hours, or 18,000 titles in total, representing 99 percent of all viewing on Netflix.

The data only covers the period from January to June 2023, meaning that movies and series released during that time performed better.

Topping the list was the first season of ‘The Night Agent’, an American action thriller that premiered in March and attracted more than 812 million hours watched worldwide.

Other high-profile Netflix titles that performed well included “Wednesday,” “You” and the “Bridgerton” spinoff “Queen Charlotte.”

Non-English language shows were well represented, generating 30 percent of all viewing, especially Korean and Spanish titles.

The lack of transparency between streaming platforms, including Netflix, Apple and Prime Video, has long been a problem for agents, journalists and Hollywood stars themselves.

But it became clearly visible during this year’s Hollywood strikes.

Striking actors and writers, previously accustomed to receiving generous “residuals” whenever their shows drew large audiences on network television, this summer demanded new mechanisms to similarly reward them for successful streaming shows.

The agreements reached with those unions to end the strikes contained bonuses for successful shows, but did not require streamers to publish any data.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos denied that the new initiative was prompted by conversations with those unions.

He said Netflix in its early years “didn’t want to provide roadmaps to future competitors” by sharing valuable data.

But that policy had “created an atmosphere of mistrust over time” and the company had become more transparent as streaming became more widespread.

“This has been a continuity for several years. So this is not driven by anything different than that,” he said.

He added: “This is probably more information than you need. But I think it creates a better environment for the unions, for us, for the producers, for the creators and for the press.”

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