The move is notable because until recently Netflix mostly kept its viewership numbers under wraps. And even though the data on “Top 10 on Netflix” aren’t vetted by an outside source, sharing the additional info is a move in the right direction for the company.
Also, with a public scoreboard for Netflix’s offerings, it’s easier to see what a winning content strategy looks like for the company. Letting consumers know what’s popular could also benefit the business by driving more engagement to the service.
Pablo Perez De Rosso, Netflix’s vice president of content strategy, wrote in a blog post Tuesday that the announcement is “an important step forward for Netflix, the creators we work with and our members.” But he acknowledged that figuring out how to “measure success in streaming is hard.”
“Traditional measures like box office or share of audience (which was designed to help advertisers understand success on linear TV) aren’t relevant to most streamers, including Netflix,” he wrote.
The company believes that “engagement as measured by hours viewed is a strong indicator of a title’s popularity, as well as overall member satisfaction, which is important for retention in subscription services,” Perez De Rosso wrote. “People want to understand what success means in a streaming world, and these lists offer the clearest answer to that question in our industry.”
The “Top 10 on Netflix” may also silence some of the company’s critics, who have groused for years about how the streaming giant presented its viewership data.
“‘Nonsense.’ ‘BS.’ ‘Cherry Picked.’ ‘Unaudited.’ We’ve had a lot of feedback about our metrics over the years,” Perez De Rosso wrote. “So this summer we went back to the drawing board.”