×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ted Sarandos: Netflix Won’t Release Ratings ‘For As Long As We Can’

Netflix remains committed to not releasing data regarding the viewership of its shows “for as long as we can,” chief content officer Ted Sarandos told journalists at the kickoff of the semi-annual TV Critics Assn. press tour Wednesday.

The streaming service has irritated reporters with its unwillingness to issue information regarding the metrics it uses to gauge the success of shows, and Sarandos held to that line, saying, “There’s no real business reason for us to report those numbers.” The executive also took a veiled swipe at Nielsen, suggesting it was better not to make such ratings public than offer potentially inaccurate ones.

Sarandos acknowledged the practice was “a little frustrating” to the business press, and — in somewhat contradictory fashion — said Netflix’s decisions about programs were guided by viewership.

“The shows have got to be watched,” he said.

As for the fact Netflix is essentially asking the media to trust that its programs are popular, Sarandos maintained the cultural footprint of series like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” makes clear that they are having an impact. Journalists have argued that having access to specific viewership information — which pay channels like HBO and Showtime do provide — is helpful in formulating coverage plans.

During the questioning Sarandos largely sidestepped answering questions regarding Netflix’s decision not to offer “The Interview,” the controversial Sony comedy, other than to say that the movie’s success in video on demand “might be eye-opening for the industry.”

In terms of its own approach to movies, which will include a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and several Adam Sandler comedies, Sarandos stressed that the films would be on par with major Hollywood releases, not scaled for TV.

“This is not a TV-movie strategy or an art-house strategy,”  he said.

Sarandos also noted that there’s nothing magical about Netflix’s formula for picking shows, which in the case of “House of Cards” was famously drawn in part from user data and preferences; and that the decision on rescuing or reviving canceled series — from “Arrested Development” to “Longmire” — was essentially on a case-by-case basis and particular to each property.

Netflix has renewed the expensive drama “Marco Polo,” with Sarandos telling USA Today that the tepid reception the series received from critics — one of Netflix’s first major setbacks in that regard — didn’t match up with the response from subscribers.

Netflix also announced an April 10 premiere date for “Daredevil,” the first of several series being produced for the company by Marvel.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content