NBC last week released info from analytics firm Symphony Advanced Media, which had pooled 15,000 Netflix users, describing the figures as a “reality check” for the television business.
The figure showed superhero series Jessica Jones had been watched 4.8 million times over a 35-day period, with comedy Masters of None clocking in at 3.9 million, drug kingpin drama Narcos taking 3.2 million and Orange is the New Black taking a relatively small 644,000.
“Why would NBC use their lunch slot to talk about our ratings,” Sarandos queried in Netflix’s TCA session. “Maybe because it’s more fun than talking about NBC ratings. The methodology doesn’t reflect any sense of reality we keep track of.”
Netflix’s refusal to release ratings data has been the big talking point of this year’s TCA events.
The Los Gatos-based SVOD platform says it does not measure success through viewing and focuses on its international subscription number instead.
“The ratings themselves have no specific impact on the business,” said Sarandos. “If we were spending a lot of money on shows people weren’t watching, they would quit. People are finding value in how we’re spending our content dollars.”
Commentators, rivals and even Netflix’s own producers and talent are not given access to ratings data, a matter of ire for many.
In related news, Netflix is reported to be lining up an animated series with The Simpsons creator Matt Groenig, while Jessica Jones has been commissioned for a second season following the recent launch of the first.