Netflix switching ratings metric to hours watched, promises 'more normalised' content slate in 2022

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Netflix has launched a new mobile-only plan.
Netflix has launched a new mobile-only plan.
Photo: cottonbro from Pexels

  • Netflix will be changing its ratings metric by switching from the number of households watching to hours viewed.
  • The streaming service promised more ratings transparency, and said that it would have a more normalised content slate in 2022.
  • In its latest report, Netflix announced that the streaming service added another 4.38 million subscribers during the third quarter.

Netflix announced that it added another 4.38 million subscribers during the third quarter and now reaches nearly 2014 million subscribers as the world's biggest streaming service.

With the release of the South Korean drama Squid Game, the apocalyptic series has now become Netflix's most-watched show ever, with 142 million households worldwide sampling the show.

The Asia-Pacific region was the biggest contributor during the third quarter of new Netflix subscribers numbers, adding 2.2 million; with the Africa, Europe and Middle East (EMEA) region in second place, adding 1.8 million subscribers during the period.

In its Q3 investors' letter that Netflix issues four time a year, the company said it's changing the way it calculates ratings internally and that "later in the year, we will shift to reporting on hours viewed for our titles rather than the number of accounts that choose to watch them."

There is some difference in rankings but we think engagement as measured by hours viewed is a slightly better indicator of the overall success of our titles and member satisfaction.

"It also matches how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching. In addition, we will start to release title metrics more regularly outside of our earnings report so our members and the industry can better measure success in the streaming world."

Upcoming content and more normalised content slate

Netflix said that it's "eagerly anticipating the rest of its Q4 slate".

This includes "a great mix of popular returning English language series like The Witcher, You, Tiger King and Cobra Kai, big returning non-English series like Sintonia and the final chapter of La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)."

Netflix said it would also release "exciting new movies such as the action film Red Notice (starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds), Don't Look Up (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry and Meryl Streep), as well as The Harder They Fall (Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Regina King and Idris Elba), Army of Thieves (the prequel to our hit movie, Army of the Dead) and The Unforgivable starring Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis and Jon Bernthal.

"The latest films from acclaimed directors Jane Campion (The Power Of The Dog) and Paolo Sorrentino (The Hand of God) are also coming to Netflix in Q4."

The streaming service added: "Assuming no new Covid waves or unforeseen events that result in large scale production shutdowns, we currently anticipate a more normalised content slate in 2022, with a greater number of originals in 2022 vs 2021 and a release schedule that is more balanced over the course of the year, as compared to 2021."

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