Netflix, in a shift, will begin revealing its most popular movies and TV shows.
The move comes after years of questions about the Los Gatos. Calif., streaming giant’s lack of transparency about the performance of its shows. Producers, stars and agents have been pressuring Netflix for more information — by expressing frustration that the streaming service can be a black hole when it comes to viewership data about how well, or how poorly, their shows have performed.
However, Netflix still isn’t releasing actual viewership numbers across its platform.
Instead, the company said in a blog post Monday that it will reveal its top 10 movies and TV shows in a list that will be updated daily. There will also be an overall top 10 list.
Subscribers can click on the tab on their Netflix account for TV shows or movies to see a new row that will indicate the top 10 list in that category in their country. The list will include both Netflix originals and licensed films and TV shows, a Netflix spokesman told The Times.
Netflix said it has been testing the feature in Mexico and the United Kingdom for more than six months and just began rolling out the feature elsewhere.
“Members in both countries have found them useful, so we are now rolling them out to even more,” Cameron Johnson, a director of product innovation at Netflix, wrote in the blog post announcing the move.
The ranking will be compiled based on how many viewers have watched the first two minutes of a program. Still, that metric has raised eyebrows among some analysts because of its short time span. Watching two minutes of a program does not necessarily translate into viewing most of a full-length movie or TV series.
Netflix’s new metric is a shift from its previous method of measuring popularity, which was based on whether at least 70% of the content was viewed. Netflix announced its new methodology for measuring the popularity of shows and movies last month.
“This way, short and long titles are treated equally, leveling the playing field for all types of our content including interactive content, which has no fixed length,” Netflix said in a letter to investors last month.
Over time, Netflix has released more viewership numbers, but only for certain titles. For example, the company recently released viewership numbers for movies by first-time filmmakers on its platform.
“Part of sharing the number is making people understand that their film is being seen in a big, wide, global way so that they feel the impact of what we’re doing with them,” said Scott Stuber, Netflix’s film chief, earlier this year.
The Los Gatos-based streaming company is facing intense competition from rival services that recently entered the market, including Disney+ and Apple TV+.