Nielsen Set To Measure Subscription-Based Streaming Content, Including Netflix


Yes, that means their shows can now be measured on Netflix, and that data shared with the public.

In a statement, Netflix has already said the data "is not accurate, not even close" adding how it "does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix". The idea is to measure streaming services in the same way that the outfit has tracked broadcast TV for decades: with demographic info and the number of people streaming a program.

Neilson has offered some disparate data on a couple of Netflix originals, House of Cards, The Defenders, and Fuller House drawing the largest audiences, comparable to top-rated TV shows. In addition, they say that the Season 5 premiere of House of Cards earned 4.6 million viewers during its first week of release in May, and Fuller House earned 4.6 million viewers during its first week in September.

Netflix is convinced that the new service is far from precise. Indeed, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos told The New York Times this week that these numbers from Nielsen are irrelevant since Netflix relies on subscriptions and not advertising. This new tool utilizes audio recognition software to identify what show a panelist is streaming on their television. However, the Netflix ratings only factor in those who are watching from a television, and so those who are watching on a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile device are not included.

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Yesterday, some surprise as the streaming service officially revealed which shows are binge-watched the most within 24 hours of being uploaded, The Defenders topping the United Kingdom list. For their analysis, they also factor in social media enthusiasm.

Nielsen is selling viewership data about Netflix shows to TV producers, providing a critical glimpse into figures that the streaming giant has never disclosed.

According to Netflix's third quarter letter to shareholders, the company's future "largely" lies in exclusive original content that creates excitement around Netflix and viewing satisfaction for its subscribers, such as Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Crown and Death Note.