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'Squid Game' documents may show how Netflix rates the success of its content

·Associate Editor
·1 min read

Netflix has always closely guarded the exact streaming metrics that may reveal why programs are considered a success... or cancelled. That black box cracked open a bit with documents obtained by Bloomberg detailing the company's scores for "impact value" and "efficiency." An example of that is Squid Game, which generated $891.1 million in impact value on a budget of just $21.4 million for an efficiency of 41.7X, according to Bloomberg's latest report. 

The documents first came to light with Dave Chappelle's controversial special after the company fired an employee for supposedly leaking confidential information about the show's viewing data. (That employee reportedly spoke out against leaks to colleagues, according to The Verge.) Those metrics revealed that Chapelle's previous special, Sticks & Stones, generated slightly less impact value than it cost to make, according to Bloomberg.

Other figures showed that around 132 million people watched at least two minutes of Squid Game in the first 23 days, beating a record set by Bridgerton. Netflix occasionally releases similar information for certain shows, but it doesn't disclose how many people stuck with or finished shows — which can often inflate figures compared to typical TV ratings. 

According to Bloomberg, however, Netflix estimated that 89 percent of people who started Squid Game watched at least 75 minutes, or more than one episode, and 87 million people finished it in the first 23 days (66 percent). Viewers watched 1.4 billion hours of the show in total. 

An attorney representing Netflix told Bloomberg that it would not be appropriate to disclose confidential data contained in documents it reviewed. "Netflix does not discuss these metrics outside the company and takes significant steps to protect them from disclosure," the attorney said.