Netflix UK will release viewing figures for every TV series for the first time ever

Users will finally be able to see how titles measure up to shows on BBC and ITV

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 12 October 2022 09:09 BST
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The Crown season 5: First teaser released

Netflix is set to unveil its viewing figures for the first time ever in the UK.

In the past, the streaming service has kept the majority of its ratings a secret, and has carefully selected which titles it released its stats for with a view to highlighting successes.

Even then, users have been sceptical about the figures considering the fact that they did not have to necessarily watch the entirety of a title for a full view to count. It has been reported that, somewhat controversially, a few minutes of viewing a specific title could be constituted as one figure.

However, the streaming service is officially set to sign up as a member of Barb, which is a British ratings agency designed to monitor viewing figures for shows on channels including BBC One, ITV and Channel 4.

For the first time, audiences will be able to see how Netflix’s shows, including The Crown and Stranger Things, measure up alongside BBC dramas and sporting events.

This means that Barb’s overight findings will include Netflix.

It’s expected that, considering it will just be monitoring the UK strand of the subscription service, many titles will fall behind shows broadcast on BBC One and ITV. This is due to the fact that Netflix, which makes up eight per cent of all TV viewing, still falls behind those channels.

Speaking about the decision to publish the figures, Netflix co-chief executive Reed Hastings said he has “kept in touch with Barb since” discussing the matter at an event in 2019. “We are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK,” he said.

Netflix has aimed to be more transparent about what its users are watching in recent years. In 2021, a top 10 feature was added, meaning users can now see what the most-watched titles are globally on any day.

Imelda Staunton in ‘The Crown’ season five

The streaming service’s move will also help make decisions surrounding which shows it renews and cancels make more sense. For example, the recent cancellation of First Kill blindsided viewers considering it amassed a viewership of more than 100 million hours in its first week of release.

Viewing figures are assessed via tracking devices that are installed in thousands of homes across the country.

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