Netflix Boss Ted Sarandos Still Insists Ratings Have ‘No Relevance for Us’

TCA 2016: “Subscriber growth, not advertising, drives our revenues,” content chief says at summer press tour

Ted Sarandos Netflix
attends the Premiere of Netflix's "Stranger Things" at Mack Sennett Studios on July 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Netflix isn’t quite ready to embrace the world of TV ratings yet.

Ted Sarandos, content chief of the streaming giant, told reporters Wednesday that despite two companies recently introducing ratings of shows such as “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix is less than impressed.

“The focus of ratings companies has no relevance for us,” Sarandos said at the Television Critics’ Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California.

Nielsen and Symphony Media have recently began tabulating results for Netflix, which has attracted criticism within the TV industry for not providing measurements of its audience size.

Sarandos said that in the case of “OITNB,” Amazon and Symphony arrived at wildly different viewing totals for the show.

“Both Nielsen and Symphony claim accuracy,” he said, implying that neither company has the right data.

Because Netflix gets its revenue from subscriptions, not advertising, Sarandos said it doesn’t matter what the numbers are, only that subscribers like the overall experience. (Other subscriber-based companies, such as HBO, have widely available ratings.)

“Subscriber growth, not advertising, drives our revenues,” he explained.

Sarandos acknowledged, however, that Netflix’s subscriber growth in the second quarter of this year was slower than executives anticipated. The company’s stock price accordingly took a tumble on Wall Street.