Nielsen beginning to track what individual shows we watch on Netflix (and Hulu, and Amazon Prime)

Ben approves.

How many fucking shows could you have saved with this metric already in tow, Nielsen? Are you responsible for Rubicon being cancelled? Is that completely unconnected? I want to be indignant! Apoplectic! About you just finally getting into tracking streaming services. And I don’t give a good god damn if my anger is misguided or not.


Global information company Nielsen is months into a program that allows it to track the performance of shows on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, the Wall Street Journal reports. This sort of data could offer major studios the ammo they desperately want in order to negotiate higher licensing fees.

Studios like Twentieth Century Fox have been woefully watching their revenues fall as more and more people opt out of traditional cable TV subscriptions in favor of online streaming services. If major studios had access to viewership data, and if they could see that their shows were performing well, they might be able to extract more money from the likes of Netflix.

Enter Nielsen, which last year began tracking bulk viewership data on streaming sites. Now, the company reportedly has data on nearly 1,000 individual shows, including the breakdown of how many people watch a specific episode , their age and gender. But it’s not clear whether Amazon Prime and Netflix should be calling the lawyers in just yet: So far, the data is only for viewers in the United States, and doesn’t include mobile devices. Which….significantly limits its meaning.

Still, it’s interesting to think that major media outfits could eventually use our TV preferences to pressure streaming services into forking over more money. And a little worrisome, if you’re very much enjoying your dirt cheap Netflix subscription. As they say, knowledge is power.