Netflix uses Google Trends to measure global popularity of The Witcher

Disney’s The Mandalorian, Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Apple’s The Morning Show were compared to the Netflix original for 90 days worldwide and across categories

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 22, 2020 5:04 PM
The Witcher

OTT giant Netflix has recently launched its Q4 results, revealing it registered a 31 per cent year-on-year growth and earned 100M subscribers outside the US.

The report also revealed that Netflix’s November release, The Witcher, turned out to be “the biggest season one TV series ever” for the OTT platform in the last quarter. In its first four weeks of release, 76 million member households watched the action-fantasy show. As a testimony to the show’s success, Netflix also mentioned that The Witcher book and game sales also skyrocketed.

To measure the show’s popularity vis-à-vis its competitors on other platforms, Netflix turned to Google Trends. Disney’s The Mandalorian, Amazon’s Jack Ryan and Apple’s The Morning Show were compared to the Netflix original for 90 days worldwide and across categories. The trends result clearly pointed to the popularity of The Witcher, which is represented on the graph in blue.

However, Netflix’s revelation is not without its shortcomings. It was pointed out that the Google Trends data is misleading and that Netflix may have jumped the gun while judging the show's popularity.

While the chart relies on global Google data search, Disney+ is available only in five countries worldwide since its November launch. Changing the trends chart to “United States” shows The Mandalorian faring well against The Witcher.

Netflix’s claim that The Witcher is its most popular season one ever was also met with criticism. The OTT platform has also recently changed its metrics to measure viewership. Earlier, a viewer was anyone who viewed 70 per cent of a feature-length film. According to its new metrics, spending two minutes on any content on the platform will count as “watched.”

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