Netflix Signs up for Ratings Agency Barb

Three years after Reed Hastings stated that Netflix wanted to be on BARB in 2013, the UK ratings agency is granting Reed Hastings’ wish.

BARB will start reporting Netflix ratings data starting in November 1st, the same way it reports on local UK broadcasters, digital channels, and pay-TV platforms.

BARB subscribers can view total viewing to Netflix and individual program viewing starting at 9.30 AM UK (or 1.30 AM PT) each morning. BARB will begin reporting the monthly reach of both streamers and broadcasters, which accounts for more than 0.5% total UK viewing, starting the second week in November.

Netflix Co-CEO Hastings said: “Back in 2019, at the RTS conference in Cambridge, I welcomed the idea of Netflix audiences being measured independently. We’ve kept in touch with BARB since then and are pleased to make a commitment to its trusted measurement of how people watch television in the UK.”

Justin Sampson, CEO BARB, said that the move “sends a clear signal that what we’re doing is valuable to new and established players in the market.”

Hastings’ speech at the 2019 RTS Cambridge aimed to shed some of the heavily-criticised secrecy surrounding Netflix ratings and the streamer has since been more transparent.

It publishes the top 10 most-watched TV films and shows in every territory each week. However, BARB and rival streamers, such as Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, measure its shows in a less restrictive way. According to the most recent top-10 Dahmer – Monster The UK’s most-watched TV show was last week’s “The View”, followed by the fifth season Dynasty.

Netflix has been making inroads into the UK market in recent years. It has been commissioning more shows, hiring local commissioners, and even blooding local talent. However, critics have long argued it should be measured in the same manner as ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5, if it wishes to make a positive contribution to the environment.

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