Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Netflix’s Viewership Numbers

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Since Netflix is an ad-free streaming service, traditional TV ratings have never been an important gage of the platform’s success.  As long as their paid subs keep going up investors have been happy with the streamer regardless of who’s actually watching the shows.  However, for the first time Netflix has started to release viewership data on some of its bigger shows.

The first set of audience data came out for its run away hit original movie Bird Box.  According to Netflix 45M viewers worldwide have watched the movie, which is just over a third of their total subscriber base.  Other popular episodic shows like You and Sex Education have drawn 40M viewers respectively.

So why is Netflix starting to release show-specific audience data now?  It’s all an attempt to drive investor confidence in the platform.  By coupling together its per show audience numbers Netflix is able to state that they command about 10% of all TV/OTT viewership in the US.  Granted, the methodology to calculate their share of the TV pie is a little fuzzy, since they’re mixing Nielsen ratings data with self-reported audience totals.  But it sure feels like an impressive number.  It also helps Netflix to illustrate how much more runway they have to grow in a mature market like the US, since there’s still 90% non-Netflix viewership to conquer.

 

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