The art of analytics around streaming services remains highly fluid. Do you judge success on subscriber numbers? Then how do you know which shows are driving people to your service? Do you count eyeballs on a show? But how do you know how many people in that household are watching it? How long of a viewing counted as a watch? Minutes? This all supposes that streaming providers are open with their reporting of figures. Many keep their actual figures very close to their chests.
Some much-needed light might be about to shine on this somewhat opaque area thanks to Gracenote, the analytics arm of old television ranking and rating pros Nielsen. They are launching a new toolset that will measure three key metrics particular to streaming:
Bingeability – Measures the average number of TV show episodes watched per day to quantify viewer propensity to consume multiple episodes in a row.
Loyalty – Captures the number of minutes and percentage of available content viewed per month to highlight viewer likeliness to stick with a program.
Program Similarity – Identifies programs that resemble other programs based on lookalike thematic characteristics, viewing audiences, and historical performance.
This brings a new lens to the pure numbers and allows analysis that is better suited to streaming where the way content is consumed is often radically different to standard, linear broadcast television.
This new insight will no doubt be highly welcome at Netflix, where they are still in shock after a 200,000 subscriber drop led to 44% of stock value evaporating overnight.
They are still the world’s largest streamer by some distance with 221 million subscribers, but Disney+ is closing fast with 200 million. The whole sector is causing analysts to question longevity as the market is now regarded to be saturated. A few players will have to fail in order for the sector to rationalize and become lean.
Not having a major studio tied as a constant content producer, and with a back catalog to be leveraged, is seen as a major weakness. This is why Amazon purchased MGM. This leaves Netflix and AppleTV+ exposed.
So Netflix is apparently getting match fit to fight back in its feature films division under Scott Stuber.
2% of Netflix’s workforce has been laid off, with the biggest changes in this area. The family live-action film division is basically gone while it’s all change in the original independent features division, and animation is being scaled back.
Apparently, their new strategy is fewer movies, but bigger and better movies. With Red Notice and The Gray Man both over $200 million, it remains to be seen how much bigger they can go.
A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that this does not mean everything will be big-budget, just that goal is “…to make the best version of something instead of cheapening out for the sake of quantity.”
Other quotes in the article make reference to Netflix paying high to attract talent, and then letting that talent creatively do what it wants leading, sometimes, to “expensive vanity projects.”
The article does say to expect a number of high-profile movies every year from the streamer.