Netflix counts you as a viewer if you watch 70% of a film

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As Netflix unveils The Irishman viewing figures, it also gives a little insight into how it collated them.

Every now and then, on its social media accounts, the team at Netflix lift the covers a little on how its calculations and algorithms work. The streaming giant infamously has backed away from reporting box office results for its theatrically-released films, and rarely gives us a glimpse as to how much a film is watched. Unless it’s been a runaway success.

Thus, it’s fair to assume that The Irishman has been a runaway success. On its official Twitter account, Netflix is boasting that the film has been watched by 26,404,081 people across the world within its first week of release.

It’s be a reasonable assumption that off the back of a cinema-only release for the three and a half hour movie, the tally wouldn’t be that high.

But, it added a slight caveat: that you don’t have to have watched the full film to be part of those statistics. In fact, 70% is the magic number. In the case of The Irishman, in fairness, you’ve still invested a good couple of hours of your life. But this seems to be the company’s rule across the board.

It does play to the argument that video shops of old didn’t give two hoots whether you watched the film or not, they still took your money. Likewise, if you walk out of a cinema half-way through, you’re a box office statistic. Nonetheless, in the modern streaming era, I just thought it was interesting what qualifies as a ‘watched film’. Bottom line: getting to the start of act three just about does it.

I’ll leave you with the Netflix Tweets…

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