Nielsen is selling viewership data about Netflix shows to TV producers, providing a critical glimpse into figures that the streaming giant has never disclosed.
While the ratings authority previously offered this information to TV producers about their own shows, according to Recode, the firm will now vend this information to studios, networks, and producers about almost any Netflix show — so that they can glean a better sense of how rivals are performing, and make sure that they are being compensated fairly. Nielsen uses proprietary tech to capture audio data in order to determine its ratings, which Netflix maintains is inaccurate.
“The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement.
While Nielsen has not made its findings public, it did share some data with Recode, including the fact that hit series like The Defenders, Fuller House, and House of Cards garner similar numbers to top shows on linear TV. The Defenders, for instance, averaged 6.1 million viewers the week its first episode premiered on Netflix, while the CBS smash The Big Bang Theory averaged 7.4 million viewers during the same period.
It remains to be seen whether Nielsen will expand its measurement to competing streaming services, including Amazon and Hulu.