April 21, 2024

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Netflix joins ratings organisation Barb

As a result of its affiliation with the TV ratings company Barb, Netflix will now, for the first time, have its audience evaluated by a third-party, independent organization.

With this change, Netflix has become the first industry-owned rating service to join globally.

The streaming juggernaut had previously only revealed glimpses of its viewing statistics, highlighting the popularity of its top programmes.

Barb will be reporting the Netflix viewing statistics for November.

This is a significant move for the streamer because the information will be used by advertisers, competitors, and journalists to assess the success or failure of Netflix properties.

Any streaming provider that contributes to more than 0.5% of all identified viewing will be listed, not just Netflix. This implies that there is a good chance that services like Disney and Amazon will also provide content.

Only its underwriting organisations and those with a special licence had access to Netflix’s data before November 2021, when BARB began reporting streaming viewing at both a service and programme level.

In the UK, TV ratings and audience data are compiled by the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, or Barb.

In the same way that it reports viewership for more than 300 other broadcast channels with subscribers, the organisation will report Netflix’s ratings.

The announcement comes at the same time as rumours that Netflix is about to launch an ad-supported tier for its streaming service.

At the RTS conference in Cambridge, co-CEO Reed Hastings said: “I liked the concept of Netflix audiences being assessed independently.”

Justin Sampson, Chief Executive of Barb, stated: “To account for the different platforms and devices that viewers are using to watch their favourite television shows, our audience measurement is regularly updated.

Beginning on the morning of November 2, all Barb subscribers will have access to Netflix viewing data through other systems and the company’s current analytic software.

Barb’s ratings during the first few weeks of the streamer’s inclusion could be significantly impacted by the timing, which coincides with the premiere of season five of the royal drama The Crown.