Streaming giant Netflix joins UK measurement panel BARB

Reed Hastings

After years of keeping its viewing figures shrouded in mystery, streaming platform Netflix has joined the BARB audience measurement panel; the first time the SVOD platform has signed up to an official industry currency. The timing is presumably linked to the company’s decision to introduce an ad-supported tier to its service.

From November 1, BARB will report Netflix viewing every day at both a service and programme level. Commenting on the news, Netflix co-CEO Reed 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.”

BARB CEO Justin Sampson said: “Our audience measurement continuously adapts to accommodate the new platforms and devices being used by people to watch their favourite television shows. We took a big step forward last year when we started reporting audiences to streaming services. Netflix’s commitment to BARB sends a clear signal that what we’re doing is valuable to players in the market.”

The decision to join BARB is the latest example of an increasingly flexible strategic approach at Netflix. In addition to its new ad-funded tier, the platform appears to have softened its stance on allowing its original films to have a theatrical window – evident with the new Knives Out sequel. There are also reports from producers and distributors that the platform is increasingly open to rights sharing arrangements.

Tags: BARB, Netflix, UK

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