Netflix Announces Radical Change to Measuring Audience Engagement


Netflix announces a new, more accurate viewing metric in its third-quarter shareholder letter following the success of Squid Game.

Netflix announced that it will be changing the way it measures viewer engagement moving forward which can be attributed to the global success of Squid Game.

For the past few years, the streaming service has used a two-minute “view” metric to measure viewing data and audience engagement. However, in the streaming service’s third-quarter letter to its shareholders, Netflix announced that it will now report the total hours viewed within 28 days of release, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

RELATED: Squid Game’s Massive Doll Is Real – Here’s Where to Find Her

“We think engagement as measured by hours viewed is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction,” the shareholder letter said. “It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching.”

In that same letter, Netflix also stated it would “more regularly” release the count of hours viewed so that its members “and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world. This is the second change in Netflix’s viewing measures in two years after the company switched to the two-minute viewing metric in 2019. Before that, Netflix measured audience engagement by counting any member account that had completed 70 percent of a movie or a single television episode as a single view.

This comes after the rapid success of Squid Game, with previous reports citing internal documents saying the new series, which cost only $21.4 million to produce, would generate almost $900 million in value for Netflix. According to Netflix, two-thirds of users completed the series within 23 days, racking up 142 million views over its first 28 days of release, which represents two-thirds of Netflix’s 213.56 million reported global subscribers. This breaks the previous records held by Extraction and Bridgerton, which earned 99 million views and 82 million views within 28 days of release, respectively.

RELATED: Despite Being Banned, Squid Game is Immensely Popular in China

While Bridgerton is Netflix’s biggest series in terms of total hours viewed, which is reported as 625 billion, a report from Bloomberg states that Squid Game garnered more than 1.4 billion hours viewed within 23 days. That same report also estimated that the streaming giant will earn almost $891.1 million in “impact value” on the show’s first season, a metric used by the company to measure the performance of individual shows. According to Netflix, using the two-minute metric, 111 million households have watched at least two minutes of one episode of Squid Game. 

Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said that while creating Squid Game, he did “target a global audience” by using children’s games as a premise, saying, “And since the games are so simple, the viewers don’t need to focus on trying to understand the rules. They can instead focus on the inner feelings and the dynamics between the characters a lot more, and then they can get immersed into the whole experience, cheering for and empathizing with the characters.”

He also stated that the show’s themes of class inequality made it relatable to a global audience. “There is more inequality, more severe competition and more people are being pushed to the edge of their livelihoods,” he said. “Currently, I would say that more than 90 percent of people across the world will be able to somehow connect and empathize with the plight of the characters that are portrayed in the series. More than anything else, that’s probably why the series was such a big success worldwide.”

KEEP READING: No Time to Die’s Rami Malek and SNL Turn Squid Game Into a Country Ballad

 Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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