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Netflix pledges “more transparency” on audience metrics

Head of original films Scott Stuber discusses measuring audience numbers

Netflix is reportedly “building towards” a comprehensive system of making audience metrics available.

The streamer’s head of original films, Scott Stuber, told Variety: “You’ll see more numbers from us, more transparency, more articulation of what’s working and not. Because we recognise it’s important, sometimes to the creative community. It’s important to the press. It’s important to everything. So we were definitely headed in that direction as a company.”

This marks a change of pace for the company which has traditionally been cagey about its viewing figures. “We’re not hiding anything,” said Stuber, noting the difficulties of releasing films theatrically before arriving on Netflix. “If that asset is perceived as a failure and then four weeks later or five weeks later I put it into an ecosystem where 50 million people watch it, it’s a giant hit for me. But now my consumer has been told by [the press] that is a failure when that’s not the full business story.”

“I just need us to get good at it, so we can be precise,” Stuber told Variety. “Consistency is what you guys want.” He added that the maths is similar to the TV and film business: “How much did it cost? Did enough people watch it? If I make something for $40 million, then X amount of accounts have to watch it. So they better watch.”