Netflix is now offering more insight into their viewership patterns on a new website. Statistics will be broken down into four categories: English films, Non-English films, English television, and Non-English television. Within those categories for any week, you can see the top 10 pieces of content, how many weeks that content has been in the top 10, and its total viewership hours. Lists are even downloadable in .tsv and .xlsx formats.
Netflix announced the measurement shift in its Q3 earnings letter. The company previously only shared viewership numbers for the number of accounts that passed the 2-minute mark of its shows and films. The new measurement spotlights titles like “The Irishman,” which is now a Top-10 film for Netflix based on minutes viewed, though it didn’t crack the list by number of accounts that viewed it.
To speak to the validity of their metrics, Netflix has enlisted accounting firm EY to audit their numbers and release a report in 2022.
Netflix’s VP of Content Strategy and Planning & Analysis, Pablo Perez De Rosso chose to clarify why the company chose total viewership time as its prime data point saying, “we recognize … that hours viewed does favor longer series and films. Because it’s hard to capture the nuances of different types of entertainment with one metric, we will also occasionally publish specialty lists— for example, top documentary features or reality shows, which our members love but may appear less prominently in these lists. Some people will ask why we don’t also report the number of members that finish a show or film. We believe that whether you miss the end of one episode in a 10-hour series (a crying baby or Netflix and chill), or you don’t wait for the easter egg in the credits sequence, or you rewatch one scene multiple times rather than the whole film, all that viewing should be reflected in the popularity of the title.”
Research from Parrot Analytics found that Disney+ has the largest share of audience demand for original content on its streaming platform. But Netflix leads in U.S. demand for series content, regardless of if those series are original or licensed. Parrot Analytics researchers say, “Demand for original and exclusively licensed content is a key leading indicator of subscriber growth for SVOD platforms.” And Netflix’s newest metrics will help researchers further understand that demand.
“This is an important step forward for Netflix, the creators we work with, and our members,” said De Rosso. “People want to understand what success means in a streaming world, and these lists offer the clearest answer to that question in our industry. Most of all, though, we hope our new weekly Top 10 on Netflix will help fans discover new stories and join new conversations— whether it’s understanding your friend’s newfound passion for chess, the value of a won or what’s going on with all those “cool cats and kittens.”