Companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video may not be forthcoming about the viewership of their original programming, but that isn’t stopping other players in the media ecosystem from finding out what is working and what isn’t.
On Tuesday, The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) saiid it would tap 7Park Data Media & Entertainment to provide streaming viewership data for titles that run on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
7Park Data does not provide full-fledged ratings data -- such as how many viewers watch a show -- but it supplies data that gives a general sense of how popular specific shows are on each service.
The value to SAG-AFTRA is obvious.
In the traditional linear TV model, where Nielsen ratings are widely available, an actor on a hit show has leverage to try and negotiate a higher salary, or a piece of the back end.
By contrast, viewership data on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is largely a black hole, with only selected leaks and guesstimates available.
“While viewership data for network and cable has existed for decades, streaming platforms have kept this data mostly secret — which makes it difficult for creators to understand how their content performs and how much it is worth,” says John Sollecito, head of media and entertainment,7Park Data.
7Park’s data can help develop a better sense of value for those shows. The company already provides data to Hollywood talent agencies and large media companies, many looking to put a value on shows that appear on streaming services.
As more streaming services launch, such as the upcoming offerings from Disney+ and WarnerMedia, the need for data that can track show performance across those services is even more important.
Sollecito says his company will be tracking viewership on those new streaming services as they launch.
7Park’s data is based on a panel of about 6 million users, with half in the U.S. and half around the world.