Nielsen Ratings Finally Dip a Toe Into Analyzing Netflix, Hulu Viewer Data
As Hannibal fans this weekend (and billions of others before them) can attest, too long has the antiquated Nielsen ratings system given an incomplete picture of a show’s viewership, swaying networks to and fro of cancellation. We may finally have some progress however, as Nielsen will begin taking into account streaming data from the likes of Hulu, Netflix and beyond.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Nielsen organization has undergone several months’ worth of investigation into viewer data from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, a necessary step toward understanding the full reach of a given series. Observing upwards of 1000 shows, Nielsen will take into account not only the number of viewers, but also the age and gender demographics.
For now at least, the data doesn’t include numbers overseas or mobile streams, again limiting the overall picture, but hey, progress! It’s certainly more effective than a system of specific households jotting notes on what shows they watch on a literal television, though Nielsen’s experiment may also run the risk of studios charging streaming sites a higher rate to license more popular series.
Every TV fan might conjure one of a thousand series robbed of a second chance by Nielsen’s slow update on modern viewership, but might we soon see a future in which Hannibal or others might thrive on internet viewers alone? Come on, Nielsen, you can do better than just dip a toe.