The streaming service is the first to sign up with an independent rating agency. This will give us a better idea of how influential it is culturally. Until now, Netflix has kept quiet about how many people stream its popular shows like Squid Game.
Netflix will finally say how many people in the UK watch its shows. This will show how vital the streaming service is to British culture and how it has changed how people watch TV there.
Why did Netflix change its plans?
Until now, it was easy to find out how many people watched the end of BBC’s Line of Duty or how many people watched England in the Euro 2020 final. However, Netflix has been very secretive about how many people watch its hit shows like Squid Game or Heartstopper.
In a change of plans, the streaming service agreed to join the British rating agency Barb as a full member. This means it will publish independently audited viewership numbers that can be compared to traditional channels.
A glimpse of TV watcher analysis
Early numbers from September showed that two-thirds of the British who watch TV in a given month already use Netflix. Currently, 8% of all TV management in the UK is done on Netflix. This makes the company bigger than Channel 4, Channel 5, and Sky, but still a long way behind the BBC and ITV.
The fact that Netflix is putting out information about how many people watch each show shows that it thinks it will be seen in a good light. Reed Hastings said at a Royal Television Society event in 2019 that he kept a promise to the British TV industry. “Since then, we’ve kept in touch with Barb, and we’re happy to commit to its reliable measurements of how people watch TV in the UK,” he said.
Why did Netflix release its data?
Netflix has always kept viewing data to itself, which caused a lot of trouble in the TV industry. The company would only release viewing numbers when it was good for business. It would talk about how many millions of people had watched certain shows.
However, it had its strange way of defining a viewer as someone who had only seen a few minutes of a play. Rivals often made fun of the fact that the company never released the numbers for its expensive flops. So, show creators didn’t know if their shows were being watched or why they were canceled.
So, in 2019, Becky Marvell, the head of TV strategy at the BBC, said that traditional British broadcasters were “not competing on a level playing field.” She said that the lack of Netflix viewing numbers made it harder for show creators to “make the right decisions about who to work with.”
What are the standings of the platform?
Netflix now thinks that customers like to see what other people are watching, which helps the company’s cultural standing. It already has “top 10” viewing lists on its apps worldwide. However, the UK is the first place where Netflix has signed up with an independent rating agency. This is because Barb is the only independent rating agency with a contract with Netflix.
The company’s most recent UK accounts showed that British customers gave it £1.4 billion in revenue. Moreover, it is almost 40% of the BBC’s license fee income. But the number of subscribers has started to stay the same, so it plans to offer a cheaper subscription paid for by ads.
A panel of tracking devices and data-monitoring software installed in thousands of British homes is used to determine TV ratings. From these numbers, estimates of how many people watch TV are made.
For example, 29 million people tuned in to watch Queen Elizabeth’s funeral at its peak. Moreover, 28,000 people watched Piers Morgan’s show on talkTV on Monday night.