Netflix promises greater transparency after beating earnings expectations

Netflix bosses have promised to reveal more data around the viewership of its programming after reporting a 22% revenue rise for Q1, 2019.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that the streamer would be rolling out more specific and granular data over the next few months, “First to our producers, then our members, and of course, to the press over time”.

He stated that Netflix would “be more transparent about what people are watching on Netflix around the world”.

The move may include rankings of the top 10 most-watched shows which will be made accessible to users. The company is planning to beta test the feature in the UK, according to Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters.

Over the past few months the traditionally secretive company has been more forthcoming with viewer data for titles such as Bird Box, The Highwaymen and The Umbrella Academy. Although many have criticised how these figures are presented.

Sarandos said: “We are trying to get to a place where we can be a lot more transparent both with our producers and with our customers, who are incredibly interested in making better choices. A lot of times that’s influenced heavily by what the world’s watching.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings added: “We’re just beginning to share that data as Ted mentioned and we’ll be leaning into that more quarter by quarter. The real metric is can we keep our members happy and grow that subscriber base as we did so strongly in Q1.”

The streamer smashed its Q1 expectations for earnings, revenue and subscribers this year.

Earnings per share climbed from 64 cents in Q1 2018 to 76 cents in the same quarter this year, marking an 18.8% increase. Investors expected the streamer to achieve 57 cents per share ahead of results.

Meanwhile, Netflix revenue rose by 22% year-over-year, reporting $4.52bn compared to $3.70bn a year earlier. Analysts expected $4.50bn.

Netflix also revealed its highest quarterly paid net adds in its history with 9.6m new subscribers both domestically and internationally. The growth breaks down as 1.74m new subs in the US and 7.86m internationally and takes its overall subscriber figure up to 148m.

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