Everyone claps in: Therefore, the streaming services will not reveal their viewership

Why are streaming service viewership secret?

In Denmark, we have had a joint TV survey via objective analysis agencies since 1992, which means that the TV stations’ viewership is publicly known. In the new world of international streaming services, everything has suddenly become less transparent.

For example, when BT asks DR, TV 2, NENT Group (Viaplay), Discovery Plus, Netflix, HBO MAX and Disney Plus why one can not see exactly how much their various programs are streamed, only DR shows up for interview. We will return to them.

If you ask media researcher Søren Schultz Jørgensen why the streaming figures are kept secret, the answer is:


Disney +

Disney +
Photo: ROBYN BECK

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‘It’s for competition reasons. Media measurement has always been problematic because an entire industry has to agree on how to measure. The more you can hold on to your own numbers, the less you reveal to your competitors. “

TV expert Keld Reinicke elaborates:

“The TV stations also did not want to go out with it in its time, but had to enter into an agreement about it when TV 2 came and commercials came in.”

He goes on to say:


Netflix.

Netflix.
Photo: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

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‘The business model for many of the streaming services is also different. With regular flow TV, it is about getting as many viewers as possible. When streaming, you go after having the right target audience. For example, if you like a Hitler documentary, then Netflix just needs to have a new Hitler documentary every once in a while that keeps you subscribing. It does not have to be big blockbusters, it just has to hit the right ones. “

Keld Reinicke explains that in this way you can not compare flow TV viewership figures and streaming figures.

“50,000 viewers for a program on flow TV might be described as a huge flop, but 50,000 subscribers who watch a series, and who all pay 100 kroner for 12 months for that series alone, are well worth it.”

Head of DR’s media research Dennis Christensen says that DR’s streaming figures are first published via the analysis agency Nielsen, which once a week broadcasts a press release on the most watched TV programs.


HBO Max.

HBO Max.
Photo: DADO RUVIC

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In addition, you want to calculate the numbers a little more accurately than you know, for example, from Spotify and Youtube, where a counter shows how many times ‘play’ has been pressed on a song or a video.

“The fact that Spotify makes the number of plays available does not say much about how many people listen, but simply how many times play has been pressed,” says Dennis Christensen, who adds:

“People in Denmark are used to the viewer figures being calculated a little more advanced, and since large sums are paid for the analysis institutes to provide the viewer figures, they do not just put all the figures out for free use.”

Dennis Christensen also points out that there are two cultures that now meet, where international streaming services have come into play in Denmark.

“They come from a different culture, where viewership is increasingly perceived as being internal trade secrets that one is not necessarily interested in sharing.”

He goes on to say:

“There is no doubt that when you go out and negotiate with a production company that has made a program, and you are the only one who knows whether the program has been a success or not, it puts you in a stronger negotiation situation. for the production company. “

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