Netflix is one among the most popular video streaming platforms and it has gained a reputation for being very secretive about viewership data on its original content. The case has been the same for shows and films. However, now the platform is set to change this policy as the company has promised more transparency.
Netfix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos spoke about the new transparency that is being undertaken by the company during an investors call earlier this week. He said to the investors that Netflix will begin releasing “more specific and granular data and reporting” to different groups soon. The viewership data will be shared by Netflix with producers, followed by subscribers and then finally the press.
According to the Sarandos, the company’s goal is to be “more fully transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world.” The video-streaming service has slowly started release more data and it was announced in December that more than 45 million accounts watched Bird Box within the first one week of its release.
However, it has not been disclosed by either Sarandos or Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that how the company collects its data or what type of information it is set to share with producers, subscribers and press. However, Hastings has acknowledged that Netflix will be become more and more transparent “quarter by quarter.” He also added, “The real metric is, can we keep our members happy and grow that subscriber base as we did so strongly in Q1?”
We should mention that this is a big step for Netflix as in the past, the company has declined the number of times to open up about the viewing habits of its members. Netflix has also been criticised because it, on one hand, it maintains secrecy about its ratings and on the other hand, it does not shy away from making occasional claims about how strong the ratings are. A good example of this is when the company claimed in 2015 that its series Narcos had more viewers than Game of Thrones.
Speaking further on the development, Sarandos said, “I would look at it like these are less financial metrics as they are cultural metrics. I think it’s important for artists to understand, to have the audience also understand the size of the reach of their work. So that’s why you’ll see us ramping up a little bit more and more and giving out — sharing a little more of that information.”