Nobody will ever really know how many people have watched a given show or movie on Netflix, because revealing such information could get in the way of Netflix’s treasured habit of canceling beloved TV shows on a whim, but the streaming service is reportedly planning to test a new system of “Top 10 lists” that will rank shows and movies in particular categories based on how popular they are. That comes from Variety, which says the system will be tested in the U.K. “this quarter” (so within the next few months), and it’s being pitched as an attempt to be “more transparent” with both users and content producers about what people are actually watching. It would also have the added bonus of shoving some societal pressure on Netflix users, since they might feel more obligated to watch, say, Triple Frontier if you know that everybody else is watching it.
Along with this announcement, Netflix also revealed some (inexact, obviously unconfirmed) viewership numbers, like how “45 million member households” watched The Umbrella Academy within its first four weeks, and “52 million member households” watched the aforementioned Triple Frontier. This is all part of a new commitment from Netflix to show that its current model of ignoring licensed shows and movies in favor of exclusive originals is actually working. Of course, Netflix saying that 52 million people watched Triple Frontier is effectively the exact same as saying “Trust us, Triple Frontier is really popular!” but maybe having more actual numbers (and ranking systems) will make investors feel good. That’s the most important thing anyway.