Unlike many other viewing platforms, Netflix has retained secrecy over its viewing figures. Since its business model was launched, the streaming giant has only released snapshots of viewing data to its users to highlight the success of some of its most popular shows.
However, Netflix has now announced that it has signed up with an independent TV rating agency for the first time, which means its audiences in the UK will be measured externally.
The company says it will use the agency Barb, which stands for the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board. The agency currently puts together audience numbers and TV ratings in the UK. It currently compiles data for mainstream services like the BBC and ITV.
From November this year, Barb will report on Netflix’s viewing data and ratings in the same way as the 300 other broadcasting channels it covers.
This is a significant move for Netflix, as it’s the first time it has joined an industry-owned rating service. It means that data will be available to advertisers, competitors, and journalists about how successful or unsuccessful Netflix shows are.
Co-chief executive of Netflix, Reed Hastings said: “Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently. We’ve kept in touch with Barb since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK.”
Justin Sampson, chief executive of Barb, said: “Our audience measurement continuously adapts to accommodate the new platforms and devices that are being used by people to watch their favorite television shows.
We took a big step forward last year when we started reporting audiences to streaming services. Netflix’s commitment to Barb sends a clear signal that what we’re doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”