Categories: News

Netflix Criticized for Exaggerating View Figures

Netflix has undoubtedly been one of the biggest winners since we’ve all been advised to stay at home wherever possible as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As such, it’s hardly surprising that the streaming service has reported some pretty impressive viewing figures when it comes to their exclusives.

Following a report via Vulture, however, it seems that the service is receiving some criticism over what many perceive to be an over-exaggeration on their part when it comes to an accurate representation of viewing figures.

Netflix’s Iffy ‘View’ Definition

While Netflix has always had a rather creative (and fluid) manner of defining a ‘view’, for a significant period it was based on a show (or film) being watched for at least 70% of the runtime duration. Since January, however, it has been revealed that Netflix has rather significantly shifted the goalposts in their favor.

How far you ask? Well, apparently, if you watch a program for just over 2-minutes now, Netflix is quite happy to mark that down as a confirmed view!

What Do We Think?

While not an entirely inaccurate or dishonest method of determining a view, the biggest problem is that it doesn’t reflect the true reception of a program hosted on the platform. For example, I know for a fact that there have been many things I’ve given up on half-way though, or just watched the first 5-minutes to see if it would be ‘up my alley’. With Netflix quite happy to claim that as an ‘intended view’, however, it could clearly be used to (inaccurately) bolster just how well a particular show, film, or series is doing.

Put simply, through this method, Netflix could claim (entirely legitimately) that a film had 90 million views, where in fact, 85 million may have turned it off after 10 minutes. Still, it’s not unusual to see any company attempt to muddy the facts to make things look better than they really are.

What do you think? Do you think this method of ‘view’ counting is fair? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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