Netflix is one of the largest sources of entertainment for people all around the world. The streaming service has always enjoyed massive ratings for their productions, although some have speculated that Netflix is prone to inflate their viewership numbers.
And mow, FX CEO John Landgraf says that Netflix’s publicly-revealed viewership totals aren’t entirely accurate.
While speaking at a presentation for the channel, Landgraf accused the streaming service of lying about the viewership for its new series, You. Netflix claimed recently that the series, which centers around the quietly terrifying Ben and his attempts to trick a woman into loving him, managed to attract 40 million viewers. The streaming giant used its own metric of viewership however, instead of the more accepted and traditional Nielsen rating system.
Landgraf discussed this thoroughly during FX’s annual presentation at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. According to him, internal data suggests that, if You had been gauged its viewership by the Neilsen rating, it would have earned a just a fifth of the views that Netflix says it earned.
Landgraf told the audience that “an average audience of 8 million viewers is good, but it’s not as good as 40 million… which would make you the number one show on television.”
As pointed out by THR, the Neilsen ratings cannot gauge Netflix viewership through computers and mobile devices, which means the ratings tracker is most likely underestimating their total view numbers. However, Netflix only releases announcements regarding their inner data, with no concrete proof. The streaming service has been accused of claiming their viewership for certain projects is higher than it really is, so it’s difficult to know for sure which one is telling the truth.
Landgraf dedicated a meaningful amount of his presentation towards the subject. When questioned about why he spent his time that way, he responded by saying “What I don’t tend to like about Silicon Valley is how the search ecosystem is Google, the social media ecosystem is Facebook. I don’t think that ‘winner takes all’ mentality is good for the world. I don’t think it’s good for America…. one way or the other, the truth will always come out, as it always does.”