Netflix has been known to be very secretive about its viewership. But now NBC thinks it has cracked viewership data for Netflix shows, says a report from Variety. On Wednesday, NBC’s longtime analytics guru, Alan Wurtzel, presented estimated Netflix ratings at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena.
Viewership date based on soundtrack
Netflix’s lack of rating transparency has frustrated traditional networks, which have been witnessing declines in viewership for the past few years. Frustration creeps in when the media keeps on reporting the decline of traditional networks and the rise of streaming companies without actually revealing the number of viewers watching streaming shows.
The ratings presented by Wurtzel has been estimated by technology company Symphony, which measures TV viewership using “audio content recognition technology.” Such technology makes use of software installed on users’ phones to track viewership by recording the soundtrack of the shows being watched by the sample group.
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Symphony, which tracked data from September through December, revealed that Marvel’s Jessica Jones averaged 4.8 million viewers, while Narcos got 3.2 million viewers and the new comedy Master of None bagged 3.9 million viewers. It must be noted that none of these are Netflix’s most popular show. In a moment of rare insight, the streaming firm did accept previously that Orange is the New Black is its biggest show. The Symphony study did not cover this title as it drops in the summer.
Decent numbers for Netflix
Wurtzel presented the Symphony ratings as part of what he called a “Netflix Reality Check.” The executive said the end goal of these ratings is not to pinpoint Netflix’s viewership but to give a rough idea of the audience size for Netflix’s originals.
Wurtzel also reported that Amazon’s Nazi fantasy Man in the High Castle was watched by 2.1 million viewers. According to Amazon, this show was its most popular launch ever. If these viewership numbers are accurate, they are much smaller than NBC hits like The Voice and Blindspot, with each averaging more than 9 million viewers. Still, Netflix’s viewership data is quite decent, as any basic cable network would be proud to have 4 million viewers for a new comedy show like Master of None.
On Wednesday, Netflix shares closed 8.59% at $106.56. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 7%, while in the last month, it is down by over 10%.