Netflix have frequently found themselves under fire from big-hitting broadcasters for refusing to reveal viewing figures for their high-profile shows.
While the likes of ITV and US channels like NBC and ABC have to reveal ratings to entice advertisers, Netflix’s subscription model means they can get away with keeping schtum.
Now, their cover’s been blown thanks to rivals NBC. The network’s Alan Wurtzel revealed Netflix’s ratings at the Television Critics Association’s press tour earlier this week.
NBC’s method? Using figures from tech company Symphony who have been registering Netflix streams through audio recognition.
Wurtzel’s presentation revealed Netflix’s top three from September to December last year as:
- Marvel’s Jessica Jones – 4.8 million viewers
- Master Of None – 3.9 million viewers
- Narcos – 3.2 million viewers
He also noted that Amazon’s big budget drama The Man In The High Castle averaged 2.1 million streams per episode.
All these figures fall some way short of NBC’s most-watched shows Blindspot and The Voice, which pull in an average of 9 million viewers every week.
“I think we need a little bit of perspective when we talk about the impact of Netflix”
Compare these streaming figures to the real TV behemoths The Big Bang Theory (21 million weekly viewers) and The Walking Dead (19 million), and it’s clear that, despite all the hype, streaming is still playing catch-up.
“The notion that they are replacing broadcast TV may not be quite accurate,” Wurtzel said, stressing that there needs to be a “Netflix reality check”.
He added: “I think we need a little bit of perspective when we talk about the impact of Netflix.”
The Netflix figures don’t fully take into account the success of big hitters Daredevil, House Of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, all released earlier in 2015 and outside of the September-December measuring range.
Netflix has previously said that OITNB is the most-popular show, but recent figures suggest otherwise.