Netflix provides its subscribers with a slew of new streaming options to watch every month, and while the renowned streaming platform doesn’t release ratings or disclose viewership numbers for its projects, IGN has compiled a list of breaking down the metrics on what Netflix considers when canceling and renewing a series.
“The biggest thing that we look at is, are we getting enough viewership to justify the cost of the series?” she revealed. “We also look at other things: how beloved the fan community is, how social a title is. There are lots of other things that we look at that you all can also see out in the world. But we are deliberate and thoughtful, and there are a lot of things that go into the decision.”
Read a few of the notable themes that IGN breaks down on Netflix’s decision to cancel or save a series. For the full coverage, head on over to IGN.
On retention rate…
“For shows that only debut on a streaming service rather than premiering somewhere else first, platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are paying a lot of attention to not just how many people initially watch a show, but how many finish the season.”
According to Holland, this was what doomed the Netflix series Everything Sucks. “In the case of Everything Sucks, it had a passionate and good audience coming in, but what we were finding is that there were far fewer people than average who were completing the season. And so when we looked at what it would take, how many viewers we would need to be successful with a Season 2, we found that the audience size really just wasn’t there.”
“A show that Netflix produces in-house is more valuable than a show produced by a third-party partner, because the streaming network can then control worldwide distribution rights (and reap all of the profits).”
“If a network has the kind of global reach (and deep pockets) that Netflix has, a show’s popularity in other countries could be enough to save it, regardless of whether Netflix owns it outright or not.” Holland implies that the international popularity of Lucifer, compared to Freeform’s Shadowhunters, was part of the reason the streaming service saved the show.
“Lucifer is a fantastic show that has really resonated with audiences in parts of the world where we have licensed it.” Holland said, “So we felt it was important for the licensing team to try to help that show continue for our fans.”
“How CBS is known for its procedural crime dramas, and The CW for superhero shows, Netflix hopes to be all things to all people, so producing a broad swath of content that will appeal to many different viewers is part of the company’s mandate, according to Holland.”
“We’ve been focused on broadening our slate and expanding into new areas while maintaining the high bar we set for ourselves from the very beginning,” she said, “With more than 300 million potential viewers at any given time coming to the Netflix service, we want to offer a wide variety of high-quality programming. Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive. We maintain quality as we grow by hiring brilliant talent who are passionate about the stories they want to tell and give them creative space.”