Wouldn’t it shock common readers of /Movie that this very subject has every little thing to do with the continuing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes?
First and most clearly, there’s the little matter of how studios proceed to insist they’re unable to supply exact viewership numbers to the unions, which conveniently complicates the concept of implementing viewership-based residuals for streaming exhibits and flicks. But, in some way, main corporations like Disney magically discover the power to scrounge up sufficient information to boast in regards to the views for his or her newest blockbusters. Of us, the mathematics undoubtedly ain’t mathing.
Secondly, there’s the matter of truly defining one’s phrases. Studios have more and more muddied the waters by counting on wildly completely different metrics that appear to alter with each press launch. For instance, Disney beforehand reported the viewership numbers on “Hocus Pocus 2” when it comes to “minutes watched,” an deliberately obscure and undefined time period — not views, as they simply did for “The Little Mermaid.” As if that weren’t complicated sufficient, nonetheless, this newest announcement comes with an ending disclaimer noting that views aren’t actually views. In keeping with Disney, “A view is outlined as whole stream time divided by runtime.” I am the furthest factor from a mathematical genius, I admit, however I’ve a number of questions on how correct such measurements really are. Immediately, “16 million views” feels much less like 16 million particular person Disney+ accounts watched the precise film from starting to finish, and extra like an arbitrary quantity pulled out of a made-up algorithmic equation.
So whereas it is simple to imagine that “The Little Mermaid” is performing nicely on streaming, is it really on a record-breaking tempo? We do not actually know, and that is your complete downside right here. Briefly, studios want higher viewership transparency to allow them to pay their writers and actors what they’re owed.