Netflix Signs Up To UK TV Ratings Agency BARB

More than three years after Reed Hastings said Netflix wants to be on BARB, the UK ratings agency has its wish.

BARB will begin reporting Netflix ratings data in the same way it reports local UK broadcasters, digital channels and pay-TV platforms from November 1.

BARB subscribers will be able to see overall viewing to Netflix and viewing to individual programs from 9.30 a.m. UK (1.30 a.m. PT) time each morning. From the second week of November, BARB will also report the monthly reach and share of viewing for both broadcasters and streamers which account for more than 0.5% of total UK viewing.

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Netflix Co-CEO Hastings said: “Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently. We’ve kept in touch with BARB since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK.”

BARB CEO Justin Sampson said the move “sends a clear signal that what we’re doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”

Hastings’ speech at the 2019 RTS Cambridge aimed to shed some of the heavily-criticised secrecy surrounding Netflix ratings and the streamer has since been more transparent.

Each week, it posts the top 10 most-watched TV shows and films in all territories and its shows are at present measured in a more restricted way by BARB, along with rival streamers such as Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. According to the latest top-10, Dahmer – Monster was the most-watched show in the UK last week, followed by the fifth season of Dynasty.

Netflix has been embedding itself into the UK market over the past few years, commissioning more shows, hiring commissioners and blooding local talent, and critics had long argued that if it wants to contribute to the ecology in this way then it should be measured in the same way as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and others.

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