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‘Baby Reindeer’ Aided by Netflix Algorithm, Says Ted Sarandos

While Netflix has expanded the types of programming it offers and recently ventured into live sports and other events, co-CEO Ted Sarandos has indicated in a new interview that news is not for Netflix.

“We don’t do breaking news and things like that because I think there are a lot of other channels for that. People don’t look at us for that,” Sarandos said The New York Times In a wide-ranging interview that appeared online on Saturday when asked what is not good for Netflix, the director, whose company launched an advertising level a year ago, said in the same answer that he is open to new things: I don’t think there is a clear answer, because the best version of something may work very well for Netflix, but just hasn’t worked so far.

Last week, after Netflix’s first in-person presentation, CNN acknowledged that despite the popular streamer’s forays into different types of content, it still has no live or pre-recorded news programming and doesn’t seem interested in changing that.

“The entertainment platforms are not interested in news,” an anonymous agent told CNN. “Their audiences don’t want it and it can be polarizing. For them it’s just not worth it.”

Elsewhere in the Time interview, Sarandos spoke about the streamer’s recent British hit, Baby reindeersuggesting that its popularity was at least partly due to the Netflix algorithm.

“There was a time when something like that happened Baby reindeer wouldn’t even be seen in the United States. And if it did, it would be on PBS someday,” Sarandos said. It’s very, very big in Britain, and the way Netflix does it, it gets picked up in the algorithm and it’s presented more and more. Because if something becomes that big in one country, there is probably a lot of audience for it. it outside that country. And it’s a huge hit all over the world.”

In addition, Sarandos spoke about how he believes international series can work in the US without having to be developed for an American audience.

“You don’t have to adapt your storytelling to America for it to work. If your film, if your movie works, if your TV series works in the home country, it has to be very authentic,” he said. “And I think the international audience notices that authenticity. When you try to think of something to travel about, it doesn’t really appeal to anyone. I can’t think of anything we’ve done that’s designed to travel that has actually traveled.”

Last week, Netflix published its list of the most-watched shows and movies for the second half of 2023, with international shows ranking highly on the list of most-watched shows (as measured by the streamer metric of (total hours watched divided by hours watched). ) Four of the top six shows originated outside the US, including German miniseries Sweet Childthe third episode of France She-wolf and British shows Who is Erin Carter? And Sex education season four. And his top series for the second half of 2023, A pieceis an American-Japanese co-production.

Throughout the interview, Sarandos emphasizes Netflix’s “consumer view of quality,” praising the live Tom Brady roast for being a hot topic of conversation and highlighting the strong performance of its “great” Lindsay Lohan rom-com. Irish wishdespite the love for rom-com Time reporter makes a face at the film.

“I go by the numbers, how many people are watching it. I mean, people watch everything. In this on-demand world, people generally turn off things they don’t like,” says Sarandos Irish wish.

The Times reporter states that fans of such films are “very keen to see things to the bitter end.”

Yet Sarandos thinks so Irish wish has its place, comparing it to other TV and movie offerings by saying it’s “at the high end of the Hallmark scale” but “not in the middle of the (Searchlight) scale.”

In the second part of the interview, where Sarandos incidentally mentioned the “breaking news” thing, he again praises the breadth of the streamer’s library and how a project that resonates with a large audience suggests it will be a “quality” TV program or film.

Referring to Irish wish again Sarandos said, ‘We all have these great contradictions, even within ourselves. I love The crownand I love Is it cake? And I love them both equally, which makes no sense! When I think about that and think, what are we trying to do? We try to make great films. We define quality from the audience’s perspective. So if the audience likes the movie, it’s great. That is quality. Irish Wish may not have tickled your fancy, but 65 million people watched that film. It’s a huge hit and people love it. Critics and reviews: it’s a great thing. We want to please everyone. But sometimes the films we make are not made for critics. But for the audiences that love it, they love it.

As for what worries him going forward, Sarandos says his main concern is “internal execution.”

“It’s a very different company with 270 million subscribers around the world than it was when I joined, with 175,000 subscribers getting DVDs in the U.S.,” he said. “So how you evolve the business, how you don’t get too nostalgic, how you don’t get too romantic about the past. Movies and games and television and stand-up comedy – all these things are real art forms. Otherwise it would only take an hour, and then I would be very worried about TikTok.”