“Red Notice,” the Netflix movie starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds, is a hit, and the third season of “Narcos: Mexico” is off to a hot start.
That’s what Netflix reported on Tuesday, when it unveiled a new website dedicated to viewership data.
The streaming company had provided audience data before — but haphazardly. Now it will provide more detailed numbers on a strict weekly schedule.
The new site, “Top 10 on Netflix,” will reveal the service’s 10 most popular series or films — a ranking that includes the company’s original content, as well as the movies and shows it has licensed.
The regular top 10 listing is the latest step in a gradual evolution for Netflix, which had a policy of keeping its data private until January 2019, when it started releasing viewing data for select shows and films.
In the past, the company also sneered at attempts by outside parties that took a crack at measuring Netflix ratings. This year, as part of the change, Netflix’s co-chief executive Reed Hastings endorsed a new metric by the research firm Nielsen to compare how much people are streaming versus, say, watching cable television.
In the nearly three years that it has been releasing some data, Netflix offered up some viewership data four times a year, around the time of its quarterly earnings, with occasional off-schedule data dumps for unexpected hits.
The new site will be updated 52 weeks a year. It will include lists dedicated to TV series and films, as well as English and non-English titles. There will also be a way to search the most popular titles in more than 90 countries, providing a more detailed look than the daily top 10 list available to Netflix subscribers.
“This is an important step forward for Netflix, the creators we work with and our members,” Pablo Perez De Rosso, a vice president for content strategy at Netflix, wrote in a blog post announcing the rankings. “People want to understand what success means in a streaming world, and these lists offer the clearest answer to that question in our industry.”
There will still be no sense of how the majority of Netflix’s original content fares — only the top performers will be listed. And the data won’t provide clues on how Netflix content compares with TV series or films on other networks or streaming services.
Still, the move could raise pressure on HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming platforms, which offer audience data in an even more piecemeal fashion than Netflix.
The series and lists will be ranked by total hours watched — arguably a more accurate look than Netflix’s previous go-to measurement, which counted a fraction of a series or movie as a “view.” Nielsen, which releases a weekly ratings ranker for streaming content, also uses hours watched to rank programs.
To help bolster the list’s credibility, Netflix announced that it had commissioned the accounting firm EY to conduct an audit of its rankings and to prepare a report on its findings, to be released next year.