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Nielsen Could Have a Ratings System for Streaming Soon

By Genevieve Burgess | Industry | August 29, 2015 |

By Genevieve Burgess | Industry | August 29, 2015 |

One of the interesting thing about the rise of original content on streaming-only services is that so far there’s been no reliable way to track it. There’s not really a good reason for this, as you can track streaming music and the two aren’t that different, but it has allowed streaming shows to exist in a kind of fantasy realm where ratings don’t matter and creative freedom (typically) reigns.

Well, all that may be ending soon, because according to Vanity Fair Nielsen has finally figured out how to track metrics for streaming shows including how many people are watching them and basic demographics on the profiles watching the show. It still won’t track international users or people streaming on mobile devices, but it’s a step in the direction of quantifying popularity of streaming series. Well, to a certain extent, it doesn’t look like there’s any controls on people still mooching off their parents’ or friends’ accounts.

We all know that there are some shows on broadcast TV that get a lot more attention from critics and pop culture writers than they do from general audiences (looking at you, Girls) and shows that have huge audience numbers that no one writes about (anyting on CBS), but so far we haven’t been able to pin down which shows those are on streaming services. If we start getting this information, what are your picks for “Lot of chatter but no audience” shows versus “I have heard nothing about this but apparently everyone is watching it” shows?

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Genevieve Burgess is a Features Contributor for Pajiba. You can follow Genevieve Burgess on Twitter.