For years, Netflix has been criticized for its lack of transparency when it comes to viewership statistics. However, the streaming giant is now taking steps to address this issue by releasing its first “What We Watched” report. This report ranks nearly all of its shows and movies based on the number of hours viewed over the past six months. In an effort to be more open, Netflix plans to release updated reports every six months, providing creators with valuable insights into the popularity of their content.
Netflix’s reputation for secrecy regarding viewership data has caused some tension within the creator community. The company’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, acknowledged this distrust during a recent conference call. Netflix intentionally kept its viewership data private in order to have the freedom to experiment and make strategic decisions without tipping off potential competitors. Sarandos emphasized that the data included in the report is the very information Netflix uses to run its business, and as a public company, they understand the consequences of sharing inaccurate information.
With nearly 250 million global subscribers, Netflix now feels confident enough to share its viewership statistics. This newfound transparency is not only a response to the demand from creators, but also a reflection of the changing landscape in the entertainment industry. During recent strikes, Hollywood actors and writers called for increased transparency as they fought for fair compensation based on audience consumption. Additionally, the launch of an advertising tier has created a demand for more information from brands regarding the frequency of viewership for specific shows and movies.
According to the report, the most-viewed show on Netflix in the past six months was the first season of “The Night Agent,” an original action thriller, which garnered a staggering 812 million viewing hours. On the movie front, “The Mother,” starring Jennifer Lopez, claimed the top spot. Interestingly, the report also revealed that 55% of Netflix’s viewing came from original films and series, while the remaining 45% came from licensed titles.
Netflix’s report provides viewing information for over 18,000 titles, accounting for 99% of all viewing on the platform. This level of transparency allows creators, producers, guilds, and the press to have a better understanding of audience preferences and trends. By sharing detailed viewership statistics, Netflix aims to create a more inclusive and collaborative environment within the entertainment industry.
With its massive subscriber base and increasing demand for transparency, Netflix has entered a new era of openness. By providing comprehensive viewership data, the streaming giant is empowering creators to make more informed decisions and encouraging a fairer compensation model. As Netflix continues to evolve and adapt, it is clear that transparency will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the entertainment industry.