Netflix leads the streaming world with 213 million subscribers. Now the company is making it easier to see what they are watching.
The platform is launching “Top 10 on Netflix,” a new stand-alone website that will showcase weekly global numbers for its most popular and bingeable content, the company announced Tuesday. The streaming service already has a Top 10 list, but the new site provides significant extra data.
“Top 10 on Netflix” will rank series and films based on hours viewed from Monday to Sunday of the prior week. That’s a big departure from how Netflix has traditionally shared viewership data, which was to sporadically announce the numbers simply by adding up how many accounts watched at least two minutes of a film or series. The company announced in its earnings report last month that it would be moving away from that two-minute metric.
The new site will track both original Netflix content, including hits like “Squid Game” and “Bridgerton,” as well as licensed content such as “Seinfeld.”
The move is notable because until recently Netflix mostly kept its viewership numbers under wraps. And even though the data on “Top 10 on Netflix” aren’t vetted by an outside source, sharing the additional info is a move in the right direction for the company.
As the king of streaming, Netflix (NFLX)’s moves can have an outsized impact on the market at large. Streaming data in general is still kept close to the vest, so it’s possible that more transparency from Netflix (NFLX) could encourage other services to share more viewing data as well.
Also, with a public scoreboard for Netflix’s offerings, it’s easier to see what a winning content strategy looks like for the company. Letting consumers know what’s popular could also benefit the business by driving more engagement to the service.
Pablo Perez De Rosso, Netflix’s vice president of content strategy, wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the announcement is “an important step forward for Netflix, the creators we work with and our members.” But he acknowledged that figuring out how to “measure success in streaming is hard.”
“Traditional measures like box office or share of audience (which was designed to help advertisers understand success on linear TV) aren’t relevant to most streamers, including Netflix,” he wrote.
The company believes that “engagement as measured by hours viewed is a strong indicator of a title’s popularity, as well as overall member satisfaction, which is important for retention in subscription services,” Perez De Rosso wrote. “People want to understand what success means in a streaming world, and these lists offer the clearest answer to that question in our industry.”
The “Top 10 on Netflix” may also silence some of the company’s critics, who have groused for years about how the streaming giant presented its viewership data.
“‘Nonsense.’ ‘BS.’ ‘Cherry Picked.’ ‘Unaudited.’ We’ve had a lot of feedback about our metrics over the years,” Perez De Rosso wrote. “So this summer we went back to the drawing board.”