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Netflix and Amazon should provide viewing data for shows like Peaky Blinders and Fleabag, says UK government

Peaky Blinders is a show from the BBC that is on Amazon (Picture: BBC)

The government has requested that streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon reveal viewing data for shows produced by public service broadcasters (PSB) in the United Kingdom.

This would include all shows that originally started on channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, like much-loved Peaky Blinders and Fleabag.

In a move that way surprise some, ministers have agreed to a request made by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMSC).

The committee stated in March that streamers should provide top-line viewing data ‘to enable complete study of PSB reach’.

The DCMSC recommended that this information be shared with both broadcasters and the media regulator, Ofcom, in its report on the future of UK public service broadcasting.

The government didn’t urge that Netflix hand over its ratings to competitors, but it did suggest that it share information with Ofcom.

Fleabag is another BBC show on Amazon (Picture: BBC)

Ministers noted that they hope this can be done ‘on a voluntary basis in the first instance’.

If these companies refuse to be upfront about how programmes are performing, the government could pass data sharing legislation.

‘We agree with the Committee that there is a case for requiring streaming services to share top line viewing data with Ofcom to assist them with their analysis and evaluation of the PSB system,’ the government said in its response to the DCMSC.

Derry Girls features Channel 4 branding on Netflix (Picture: Channel 4)

Sherlock has BBC branding on the streaming giant Netflix (Picture: Colin Hutton)

‘We recommend the government impose two specific requirements in relation to PSB content hosted on other streaming services in new media legislation.

‘Streaming services should be required to share topline viewing data — at the very least, the number of viewers — for PSB content they host with Ofcom and the relevant PSBs to enable full analysis of PSB reach and the audiovisual landscape as a whole.’

The committee also recommended that streaming giants include the branding of UK broadcasters around their originals.

Netflix does this with most UK broadcaster shows, such as Channel 4’s Derry Girls and BBC’s Sherlock. Each channel’s logo is included in the thumbnail as well as the logo being included at the start of each episode.

Credit: Original article published here.

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