In a significant move towards transparency, Netflix is now providing insights into the viewership data of thousands of films and series for the first half of this year. The streaming giant, which has traditionally been discreet about the performance of its content, has decided to publish such reports biannually.
While traditional television has long relied on a well-established system of audience ratings, streaming services have often maintained a level of secrecy regarding the success of their programs. Netflix, however, has been divulging a list of its most popular titles for the past two years.
Co-CEO Ted Sarandos explained during a recent conference call on Tuesday that this shift towards transparency marks a departure from Netflix's earlier strategy of withholding data to prevent competitors from gaining insights. Although this approach fostered some mistrust within the TV industry, information was shared with individual film and series producers. The recent decision to publish detailed viewership figures aims to dispel any lingering skepticism. Sarandos stated, "It's actually the data we use to drive our business."
According to the recently released list, the first season of the series "The Night Agent" claimed the top spot as the most-watched title in the first half of 2023, accumulating a total of 812.1 million hours. However, Netflix is quick to point out that while these numbers offer guidance, they should be considered in context due to variations in series runtimes and the generally shorter duration of films.
Sarandos emphasized that the disclosure of data is unrelated to the expansion of the advertising business. Standard industry procedures are employed to measure viewer ratings, and Netflix's move towards transparency is not a ploy to attract more advertisers. Nonetheless, since the introduction of a more affordable subscription option featuring advertising, Netflix has witnessed a rapid increase in its customer base. This could potentially position the streaming service to capture a larger share of advertising spending that has traditionally been directed towards conventional TV channels.
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