Netflix has historically offered little-to-no viewing data -- to the press or other TV companies -- because it believes such data isn’t necessary in this digital age, and because it’s not an ad-supported service.
But in a report some weeks ago, Netflix released some details on how subscribers binge-watch programming.
Netflix analyzed more than 100 TV series across more than 190 countries between October 2015 and May 2016.
For instance, Netflix says the median number of days to complete the first season of any of these series was five days; median hours per session was two hours and ten minutes. Series viewed less than two hours per day were identified as “savored.” Series viewed more than two hours per day were identified as “devoured.”
Netflix users plowed most quickly through such shows as “Sense8,” “Orphan Black,” “The 100.” “Breaking Bad” and “Orange is the New Black.” Slower-binge watching, comes with “complex narratives” like House of Cards” and “Bloodline.”
Still, we have yet to get more specific results about Netflix shows: actual number of viewers, demographic breakdowns, time/days, or on what devices.
Later this year, Nielsen says it will start offering viewing research on Netflix programming, targeting the research product for its existing TV-movie based clients that already receive other media research products.
A number of other research companies have released estimates of Netflix viewing, all of which came with much derision from Netflix executives.
TV producers typically like having easily accessible viewing research -- despite all the complaints media researchers have had about the likes of Nielsen, and other third party companies, when it comes to process and accuracy.
For Netflix this new tactic could merely be fueling marketing campaign. Also Netflix may be looking to better serve its business partners. Releasing more viewing and other data will curry favor for future original TV and movie deals for the subscription video service, especially with other competitors like Amazon and Hulu growing.
Netflix is looking to offer up its side of story -- research-wise. Not only how it’s disrupting the TV economy, but perhaps what it isn’t doing.