Netflix Says 40 Million People Watched ‘You’ In a Month
When You premiered on Lifetime last fall, the series, about a book store employee who becomes obsessed with a customer, averaged 1.1 million viewers. In late December, the show’s 10-episode first season was added to Netflix. And now Netflix says the show has done ... significantly better than 1.1 million viewers each week. Take a look at their tweet:
Netflix does not generally share their viewership data, and there are no independent organizations to fact-check their claims. (Companies like Rentrak or Nielsen who report box office numbers and television ratings aren’t affiliated with any particular channel or show, and don’t a financial incentive to artificially inflate numbers.) Netflix selectively releases how many people watched their films and shows — they recently announced the Sandra Bullock film Bird Box had been viewed by 80 million households — and exactly how they measure these numbers is still unclear. If I mean to click on Nailed It! and accidentally press play on You and watch 30 seconds before I switch back, does that count as a household that’s tried the show? If I turn off my TV and forget to turn off the PS4, and it just keeps autoplaying episodes, does Netflix think I binged half the season?
In the case of Bird Box, Netflix told Entertainment Weekly that they counted a viewing when “it surpasses 70 percent of the runtime (including credits),” but they haven’t provided similar details here. Nonetheless, even assuming a certain amount of creative inflation, if half that announced number had watched You, it shows you the power of streaming. The barrier of entry on Netflix is so low — you’ve already paid for the service, you don’t have to remember to tune in or even set a DVR. What do you have to lose by trying whatever new show is getting promoted this week?
Not surprisingly, given these numbers, You has already been picked up for a second season on Netflix.
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