NBC Claims to Have Measured Netflix Ratings Data, and It Isn’t Great
Netflix has made no secret of how secret they keep any sort of “ratings” data for their original programming, a constant source of frustration to networks still under the Nielsen model, itself no longer a valid measurement of a given show’s audience. Now, NBC claims to have gotten a bit of payback, utilizing some unique approaches to measure Netflix’s overall viewers, and suggesting it on par with broadcast.
Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as a report offered by NBC Universal’s Alan Wurtzel at the TCA press tour only measured about 15,000 users, utilzing San Francisco-based Symphony software to chart Netflix usage through audio data picked up by phones.
That said, the presentation claimed that between September and December, an average of 4.8 million viewers of adults 18-49 group watched episodes of Jessica Jones, followed by around 3.9 million for Aziz Ansari comedy Master of None, and 3.2 for Narcos. It’s also worth noting that such data serves no purpose for Netflix, given a lack of advertisers, and availability of anytime viewing, as upwards of 644,000 continued watching Orange is the New Black Season 3 two months after its premiere.
Wurtzel largely intended the presentation to diminish any “threat” Netflix might posed to the industry at large, saying:
I don’t believe there’s enough stuff on Netflix that is broad enough and is consistent enough to effect us in a meaningful way on a regular basis.
Before acknowledging the potential fallibility of his data:
This is in beta. I think they’re valid. They give you a sense of what the size is — whether it’s 4.4 million or 4.2 million, I don’t think [it] matters.
Netflix has yet to issue any kind of official response (consider it overwhelmingly likely they insist the numbers are way off-base, and irresponsibly measured at that), but does a sense of who watches what affect Netflix’s image at all? Did Jessica Jones, or any of the other fall offerings under-perform?