Culture

Netflix Audience to Get Measured by New Nielsen Tracking Service

Netflix Audience to Get Measured by New Nielsen Tracking Service”

Nielsen now believes that its measurement tools can determine Netflix viewership, as the company told NPR's Morning Edition in an interview.

Netflix likes to stay coy about exactly how it leverages its user data when deciding which programming to green-light.

The latest move, however, should provide a better window on how shows are performing on Netflix relative to other programming on the streaming service.

Audience measurement company Nielsen said on Wednesday that it's finally able to track how many people are watching Netflix shows like Stranger Things and The Crown, as well as licensed content streaming on Netflix, potentially unlocking a key data set that has thus far eluded the rest of Hollywood. Subscribers can see data on Netflix viewing for non-subscribing networks and studios. Last year, NBC executives released some Netflix ratings data from a company called Symphony Advanced Media, which similarly used audio fingerprinting technology from a panel of 15,000 people who downloaded a special app. Some entertainment executives have criticized the company as being a relic of the channel-surfing era while more viewers take to streaming content. The new service adds more granular data, so that subscription video-on-demand audiences become as transparent as TV-watching audiences. There are about 12,000 shows that appear on Netflix that have not been measured in the past. Netflix's "The Defenders", "Fuller House" and "House of Cards" have comparable viewership numbers to top shows on cable and syndicated network TV, according to Nielsen.

That's slightly less than the average viewership that CBS's "Big Bang Theory" got in syndication, about 7.4 million viewers the week of September 25. When a company like Netflix releases a season's worth of episodes on a single day, that show's fans watch an average of four and a half episodes in a day.

"Fuller House", which had its season premiere in September, and "House of Cards", which had its season premiere in May, had about 4.6 million viewers for their season premieres, about the same as the MLB Wildcard game between the the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 4. Unlike Nielsen's TV measurement, the product doesn't churn out ratings overnight; delivery time is typically more than a week.

Nielsen does not yet report on other over the top services like Amazon and Hulu.



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