Netflix Audience to Get Measured by New Nielsen Tracking Service

Netflix Audience to Get Measured by New Nielsen Tracking Service

According to USA Today, the audience measurement service used its "people-meter" technology to discover just how many people are watching Netflix's movies, original series, and reruns of older series.

Deadline's report on the launch of the new Nielsen service suggests NBCU may have been late to commit to this new offering as they were the last to announce their participation. The new ratings figures, which Nielsen did not release to the news media, are likely to result in some pushback from the digital giant, which announced that it will spend $7 billion to $8 billion on content in 2018.

But a Netflix spokesman said the streaming-video company was not participating in the effort.

Audience measurement company Nielsen said on Wednesday that it's finally able to track how many people are watching Netflix shows like Stranger Things and The Crown, as well as licensed content streaming on Netflix, potentially unlocking a key data set that has thus far eluded the rest of Hollywood.

However, it will not cover mobile device viewing which could limit the accuracy of the data. Nielsen had for the past year provided Netflix ratings to TV producers but only for their own shows - not on anyone else's content. "When people start analyzing this, they're going to be quite surprised at the size of the audience these programs are commanding", he said.

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The streaming ratings, for instance, don't include global viewers, now more than half of Netflix's customer base, or viewing on mobile devices. Of its roughly 104 million paying subscribers, a little more than half live outside the United States, according to Netflix's third-quarter earnings. "The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix", a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.

That's slightly less than the average viewership that CBS's "Big Bang Theory" got in syndication, about 7.4 million viewers the week of September 25.

"Fuller House", which had its season premiere in September, and "House of Cards", which had its season premiere in May, had about 4.6 million viewers for their season premieres, about the same as the MLB Wildcard game between the the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 4.

Fuller House, which is primarily watched on smart TVs, has an audience composed of a majority of females. Unlike Nielsen's TV measurement, the product doesn't churn out ratings overnight; delivery time is typically more than a week. Nielsen plans to expand it next year to encompass services such as Amazon and Hulu, where advertisers have a more vested interest.

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