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Netflix explains two-minute view count rule

Netflix stands by its two-minute rule for counting views.

The hugely popular online streaming platform has sparked some controversy over the way it calculates views for a movie, TV show or original series, and now the metric has been clarified in a letter to shareholders this week.

The company explained: "We've been working on how to best share content highlights that demonstrate popularity.

"Given that we now have titles with widely varying lengths - from short episodes (e.g. 'Special' at around 15 minutes) to long films (e.g. 'The Highwaymen' at 132 minutes), we believe that reporting households viewing a title based on 70% of a single episode of a series or of an entire film, which we have been doing, makes less sense.

"We are now reporting on households (accounts) that chose to watch a given title (Chose to watch and did watch for at least 2 minutes - long enough to indicate the choice was intentional - is the precise definition)."

Netflix has suggested this is in line with other platforms likes BBC iPlayer, and indeed other subscriptions mediums like the New York Times or YouTube.

The letter continued: "Our new methodology is similar to the BBC iPlayer in their 1 rankings based on 'requests' for the title, 'most popular' articles on the New York Times which include those who opened the articles, and YouTube view counts. "This way, short and long titles are treated equally, levelling the playing field for all types of our content including interactive content, which has no fixed length."

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