TV Ratings in 2019: What Counts as a Streaming ‘View’?

“For streamers, total views are only one part of the data that can lead to a renewal or cancellation,” said UCLA lecturer and Hollywood vet Brian Frons

In Hollywood, where box-office stats and TV ratings have long been the barometer of success, how streaming giants define winning has become a crapshoot.

As long as there is no pressing need to answer to advertisers, the desire for a neutral third-party measurement to bring uniformity to what is considered a streaming “view” will remain a pipedream for those looking for more transparency.

On the rare occasion streaming heavyweights allow a peek behind the curtain, it’s often to celebrate success in a vacuum, with little or no ability for comparison. This was evident last week, when notoriously furtive Netflix announced that “Murder Mystery,” the studio’s Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston flick released earlier this month, smashed a company record with nearly 31 million accounts watching the movie in its first weekend on the service.

But what does that mean?

Netflix, as TheWrap has reported, counts a view once 70% of a show or movie has been watched. Hulu, on the other hand, counts a view once 10% of a show — …

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Sean Burch

Tech reporter • • @seanb44