Netflix is one of the biggest streaming services in terms of subscribers and available content. As you can expect, there is always a demand for new movies and shows on the platform. Despite this, the company has to make tough decisions on which shows to keep and which ones to cancel.
As it turns out, Netflix seems to have a very creative way of determining popular shows and movies on the platform. According to a letter sent to British government authorities, the streaming service uses three main categories to rate content viewership. These categories include “Starters”, “Watchers”, and “Completers”.
The categories are part of an in-depth evaluation that Netflix uses to decide which shows and movies will be canceled. But what do they mean anyway? Starters are people who watch two minutes of a film or just an episode of a show and stop there.
Completers, on the other hand, are the folks who watch 90% of a movie or an entire season of a given series. Netflix sends these metrics to show creators and directors too as part of its feedback process. Additionally, the metrics are measured within the first seven days after a show or a movie is released.
The third set of data is categorized as “Watchers”. This is a more general metric and it is mostly revealed on quarterly reports. It is used to describe a category of Netflix subscribers who watch 70% of a movie or one episode of a series. So far, Netflix shares this data with directors in North America and Europe only. However, the streaming service says that it may also start to share the same info with directors and content creators in other countries as well.
A lot of people who are interested in knowing how Netflix rates its shows are probably familiar with the "watchers" metric only. This is one metric the streaming service shares publicly all the time. For example, a few weeks back, the company announced that Stranger Things’ third season was the most “watched” season on the platform to date. Netflix said that over 64 million households streamed the series. All these people are classified as “watchers” only.
Unlike traditional TV networks, Netflix does not work with Nielsen ratings. Based on the three metrics explained in this article, it seems like viewership numbers are the most important for the company. And it makes a lot of sense, to be honest.
After all, if more and more people are watching the full movie or finishing an entire series, it can only mean the content is good enough. Netflix has, however, come under fire in recent years for lack of “transparency” in the way it rates its shows.
But it looks like the streaming service may just start to open up. It is also not clear whether there are other important metrics we don’t know about. Netflix does not have a good history of opening up to the public as far as show ratings go. However, maybe things will start to change in the future.