New Tracking App To Reveal Which Netflix Shows Are The Hottest

Netflix has fundamentally changed the way viewers watch TV, and the old-school method for determining ratings is struggling to keep up. But a new startup company is planning to reveal accurate tracking data for Netflix and every other streaming service out there.

Symphony works a lot like Shazam, an app that can detect what song is playing just by listening in. Like Shazam, the Symphony app runs quietly in the background, keeping track of exactly what shows your watching, and how long you're watching them for.

(Photo: Fansided)

"The app knows that this is the audio code that [you are] listening to," said Symphony CEO Charles Buchwalter. "And then we are matching that to a reference database of all programs out there and it says [you are] watching Humans."

This is a big deal because the previous method for data tracking comes from Nielsen, which relies on live viewers tuning in to traditional television programming. With the cord-cutting movement growing by leaps and bounds, this outmoded tracking scheme is quickly falling by the wayside.

"Younger people are doing less and less of the old-fashioned TV viewing and much more of the newfangled TV viewing that Nielsen isn't measuring," said media researcher Bill Harvey.

Now we need something like Symphony to provide data on streamers, which will in turn give shows like Black Mirror the means to show potential buyers just how popular their programs really are. Having this proof means Black Mirror, or any other streaming show, can have more negotiating power, giving them more money to create higher-quality content.

So far, 15,000 people have downloaded the Symphony app and are feeding data back to the tech startup. The hope is that as more people provide more data, the numbers will show that TV viewership is not down, like so many in traditional TV claim, but that it has simply shifted to the online arena.


In the end, this data will directly impact everyone who streams from Netflix, Amazon, or anywhere else, giving them the information they need on the shows they want.

[ H/T NPR ]