Just a few hours ago Netflix held its quarterly earnings calls with investors. The two big takeaways from the session:
One - The company exceeded expectations, adding 4.38 million subscribers globally, bringing the total to almost 214 million subs.
Two - The more interesting announcement of the two is that Netflix is changing the way it reports on viewership. Until now the company has reported that [x] number of viewers watched a show or movie. That meant that those viewers watched two or more minutes of the show. It's a frustrating practice (but an industry-wide practice with video metrics) that doesn't really represent how we watch. If I watch 2 minutes of something and turn it off, I wouldn't tell someone that I watched it.
The new reporting method will have Netflix not reporting on how many accounts watched a show/movie, but rather how many hours have been viewed of a title.
You can see from this table how different the lists of most-viewed Netflix titles looks when you compare the number of accounts that viewed a show vs the number of hours watched. The key title to look at in this is Ginny & Georgia: Season 1. I guarantee that this reporting will raise the prominence of easy-to-watch, less hype-driven titles.
But for one last time, let's talk up a big viewership figure based on the number of accounts that watched something. How many accounts watched Squid Game? Netflix reports 142 million. Netflix doesn't report the completion rate for its shows, but Lucas Shaw at Bloomberg got his hands on some data during the week and reported 66% (87M) finishing the show.
Earlier in the week Rick Ellis who pens the very good Too Much TV newsletter followed up on that Bloomberg article and went a bit deeper on Netflix's internal reporting and AVS scores.
An AVS score is an Adjusted View Share. It tells Netflix not just how many people watched a title, but it assigns a value to that title.
As per Ellis, the AVS is a composite of 30 factors that considers if a title is viewed by new subscribers (which gives a higher score as Netflix want to keep new subscribers and turn them into long-term subs), if subscribers who signed up to watch that title stuck with the service (Netflix devalues titles that contribute to a high churn rate), completion rates, rewatch numbers (though, if you are a fan of a show and rewatch a show too often, that actually gives it a lower score), and the average revenue per user (a US viewer pays more for Netflix than in many countries, which means a US viewer is weighted more heavily).
- Uma Thurman will play Arianna Huffington in the new series Super Pumped. Read: Deadline
- Why was Y: The Last Man cancelled by FX? They didn't want to extend cast contracts while they decided on the fate of the show. Read: THR
- Corbin Bernsen is joining the cast of the LA Law revival show. Read: Variety
- Melissa Joan Hart was the first $1 million winner on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune. Read: USA Today
- Here's all the details on the IATSE deal announced earlier this week. Read: Variety
- Are you after the audio from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert delivered to you as a podcast? Good news:
It's time to visit/re-visit Cook County Hospital
Great news: Amazon Prime Video is now streaming all 15 (!!!) seasons of ER. One of TV's absolute best shows is now widely available to watch. (In the US, the show is available on Hulu).
That's a lot of ER. Now, before you dismiss the idea of watching this entirely:
- The show may have been filmed back in 1994, but the show still holds up very well from the very first episode onwards. There's nothing in the show that dates the show beyond the fact nobody is staring at their phones.
- Yes, there are 15 seasons. But the absolute best of the show is in the first 5 seasons. You can probably tap out around there if you want (but there's still a lot of great TV throughout the run of the series).
- Hot damn is it entertaining. The show moves quickly, it has great characters, the drama is really absorbing, and that cast - so watchable.
Being The Ricardos is the Aaron Sorkin film about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It debuts in cinemas December 10th and on Prime Video on December 21st. It follows a week of production on I Love Lucy.
Tampa Baes debuts on Amazon Prime Video Nov 5.
Ozark season 4 kicks off Jan 21 on Netflix.
Blown Away: Christmas debuts on Netflix Nov 19.
The Great returns Nov 19 to Hulu for season 2.
Cowboy Bebop debuts Nov 19 on Netflix.
Gloria debuts on Netflix Nov 5.
Riverdale returns for s16 on Nov 16.
What's next? Tomorrow.