It’s no secret that Netflix is particularly cagey about their own viewership numbers. While over time we’ve certainly been able to glean little bits of information here and there, most of the time it’s heavily based on survey responses or assumptions on data usage.
Netflix likely doesn’t have much incentive to actually discuss viewership numbers, at least not publicly, so naturally there’s plenty of space for a third party to take the reigns.
After years of wondering just when exactly the biggest name in television viewership was finally going to own this data collection, we finally have our answer. The WSJ is reporting that Nielsen has finally stated they’re going to start recording the usage of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
Long have we been curious about finally having access to this wealth of information, and now we’ll finally have a reputable source. This should really help a lot with total viewership of shows that find themselves binged upon via streaming services, but after some brief thought, the collection of these numbers might not actually affect anything. Advertisers certainly don’t benefit knowing how many people are watching a show on Netflix (unless it can affect future viewership on network television), and streaming services of course collect all this data themselves.
We’ll be interested to see in what ways this data being public affects things, if at all. Regardless we’re certainly curious to see the results.