Mark Sweney: Chief content officer on the revival of Arrested Development, big Hollywood deals – just don't ask him about viewing figures..
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos is supremely confident that reviving the sitcom Arrested Development, which was made available globally online last night in a single 15-episode junkie-pleasing hit, will be the latest "slam dunk" in the video streaming service's mission to revolutionise the TV industry.
Just don't ask him how many of his 34 million subscribers in 40 countries are actually watching it.
"We're not going to publish ratings of any kind, it is wildly inaccurate to say we don't talk about it because we don't want to have to talk about the failure of the next show," he says, warming to the topic that sums up the essential difference between Netflix's all-you-can-watch viewing model and traditional TV's weekly drip of serialised shows.
"It has been a mistake for [pay-TV] companies to talk about ratings, it creates performance pressure around these shows which is very unnecessary," he argues. "HBO got excited about the ratings on [its first big hit] The Sopranos, I would have too, but now they have to talk about every one of them. There is as much going around about how few people watch [HBO's] Girls as there is about how good a show it is."...