Each week on Search Engine, PJ Vogt tries to answer a question he has about the world — no question too big, no question too small. This week, Maya Hawke of Stranger Things would like to know why won’t Netflix just tell her how many people watch the show?
PJ wondered if Maya has a Netflix account of her own (which she does, three separate ones for that matter, we’ll let her explain). But what PJ really wanted to know, was as an employee of the company in a way, if she had a different version of the app.
Going on to tell about his time working for Spotify, PJ revealed he had access to a special version of the app, that not only was free, and had higher fidelity audio. But, it also included a dashboard, where he could see “download number for every podcast on the app, not just mine.”
And that wasn’t all. “I could see where in the world people were listening from… when people stopped listening… getting a glimpse inside Spotify’s records of me and everyone else was fascinating. And Maya has a similar curiosity about Netflix.”
After her debut episode on the show’s third season in 2019, Maya received a number of how many people watched the show on that first day. However since, “there haven’t been anymore numbers. So it felt like this bragging thing that happened when the show came out that actually just scared me, and then no more information,” Maya said.
So I would travel the world and meet so many people that were watching the show and I started to feel like ‘who’s watching this show? How many people? Where is it reaching?' And so that is when I first started thinking about it.”
At first she didn’t think much of it, “except that it made me feel weird.” But as time has gone on, “now it feels connected to a larger issue that is affecting everyone, and just seems to be getting more and more important. Why does it have to be a secret?”
To find out what conclusions PJ and Maya come to and to listen to the whole discussion, including the question underneath that question of might the internet have broken our TV industry? — press play on the episode above.
On Search Engine, host PJ Vogt answers the kinds of questions you might ask the internet when you can't sleep. If you find the world bewildering, but also sometimes enjoy being bewildered by it, we're here for you. New episodes every Friday.