Netflix’s CEO Thinks Barbie Would Have Been Just As ‘Big’ If It Went Straight To Streaming. He’s Right But Also Very Wrong.


Yesterday, I was flipping around the Internet when I saw a headline about Barbie and how it would have performed on Netflix. The CEO of the streaming giant, Ted Sarandos, apparently said both it and Oppenheimer would have been just as “big” if they were on Netflix. My knee-jerk reaction was immediate disagreement but also, a need to read more and get the full context.

So, I traced back the quote and read the entire New York Times interview to get the full story. It turns out he didn’t say the movies would have been just as big, he said they would have “enjoyed just as big of an audience.” He’s right, at least in a technical sense, but also, he’s wrong, at least in a cultural sense. To understand why, we need to talk about ratings and viewership, about how not all eyeballs count the same and survey results. We need to talk about survey results.


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