Do you know how many people watch House of Cards? How about Orange Is The New Black?
No. No you don’t. Netflix, a company which isn’t beholden to advertisers and traditional ratings, doesn’t like to disclose viewership numbers. In fact, content chief Ted Sarandos has said that Netflix will not release stats on any of its library – original content or not.
The closest we’ve ever gotten to Netflix revealing “ratings” is when the company says that a particular show is “the most watched”. We’re forced to rely on surveys to guesstimate Netflix’s viewership.
But wait, what’s this? Ted Sarandos just plopped down an actual number?
According to Sarandos, the Netflix original film Beasts of No Nation has seen three million views in a couple of weeks.
“It is worth sharing that this movie, in North America alone, has over 3 million views already. Which I think is a bigger audience than any specialty film could ever hope for in its first two weeks of release, and maybe for its entire run. And we’re just starting. We are just thrilled with the total audience reach of this film, not just in North America but the world,” Sarandos told Deadline.
“In the first week of release, Beasts Of No Nation was the most watched movie on Netflix, in every country we operate in. Even Japan, and I’m only calling out Japan because most specialty films don’t do very much of their box office outside the U.S. at all, let alone in Japan. Studios have trouble opening those movies in Japan. This was No. 1 in really diverse places in the world — Japan, Brazil, Mexico, places where these films typically never even open. It’s been incredibly gratifying to see these audiences respond to this film.”
This feels like a one time thing. I wouldn’t get too excited, people who write about Netflix.