This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How Many People Actually Watch Netflix Originals?

Stocks in this article: NFLX DIS NWSA TWX CBS

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I hear -- directly and indirectly -- from a considerable number of people that "good" journalism "died" a long time ago. I disagree. It's more about an epidemic we're dealing with: A shortage of good journalists.

Nothing illustrates this deficit better than coverage -- across spaces -- of Netflix (NFLX - Get Report). CNBC's Julia Boorstin -- thankfully, though all for naught -- bucked that trend on Wednesday in her exclusive interview with Reed Hastings. I urge you watch the video, embedded just down the page. However, by and large, Hastings receives a free pass.

Even when journalists question Netflix strategy, they miss. Consider a recent Forbes piece that tackles the type of sideshow argument Hastings prefers you focus on -- the merits of allowing viewers to consume Netflix originals in a binge. Such an irrelevant topic. Yet the article glosses over something that actually matters vis-a-vis "Arrested Development":

A ratings bust when it originally aired, Arrested roared back to life on Netflix with a strong debut according to network intelligence firm Procera . . . It's estimated that twice as many people streamed an episode over the weekend as watched Netflix's House of Cards when it debuted in February. But even if viewership is strong, the larger issue for Netflix is that the moment has already come and gone.

And then you have the article Forbes sourced from Mashable: 'Arrested Development' A Streaming Success For Netflix. I respect the guys at both Mashable and Forbes, but that's simply shoddy journalism. Period.

No other television network -- and this is what Netflix tells us it is -- can get away with airing original programming only to repeatedly answer questions about viewership with the imprecision of a high school student at a science fair and the slipperiness of a lot full of slicked-back used car salesmen.

What was Julia Boorstin supposed to do? Start yelling at Hastings? Refuse to continue the interview until he provided actual metrics? I don't expect that. She's in a different position than I am. Given the context of the situation, she did what she could. Plus, none of us know the ground rules Netflix set up -- presuming it did (because maybe it didn't) -- that may have prevented her from being more aggressive. It would not surprise me if Hastings made it clear pre-interview that he would not go to particular places.

But that's neither here nor there. Hats off to Boorstin and thumbs down to practically every other media member and Wall Street analyst who has ever uttered the word "Netflix." It's their fault that journalism sits in the state that it is. They refuse to push, to dig, to talk to people, to ask the tough questions -- repeatedly -- until they get an answer.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs