When it comes to examining the ratings for Outlander season 4, there’s hardly just one particular measurement to look at. There’s a complicated formula that Starz needs to look at week after week — sometimes, it can be a little bit frustrating as a viewer to figure a lot of it out. That’s what this article is all about as we gear up for season 4 episode 4 — offering up some clarity.
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Let’s start off this discussion with live viewers, otherwise known as the primary thing we analyze on CarterMatt. Why do we look at this number considering all of the other ways people watch these days? It’s because it is the one bit of information that is readily available every week. We’ve heard the blowback on using this as a pure measurement for the show’s success and we get it — it is a somewhat-archaic measurement that is only taking into account viewers who watch live television, or that particular episode on television within a couple of hours after it airs. We’re predicting, by the way, that Outlander will still draw in total about 850,000 live viewers tonight — down versus last season, but not a terrible number by any means.
Why live numbers matter is mostly as a means of comparison — they give you a sense as to the viewing habits of traditional, somewhat-casual viewers. It’s also a way to compare Outlander against other Starz programs and also other cable shows (see Ray Donovan) that air several hours after the episodes are first made available online.
This isn’t all Starz looks at – While the live numbers are the only information released to the public, Starz does measure every single view on the app, On-Demand, through streaming service, and other official channels. What we’re trying to relay here is that if you are watching the show on the app, your viewership is being counted. It’s just not counted in a measurement that we see. Starz looks at all of this data when touting the overall viewership / success of the show, so all of it matters even if we cannot see it.
Also, subscriptions – This is arguably the most important measurement of all, even more so than how many viewers are watching weekly. Here’s an interesting way to look at it — Starz may actually prefer getting a smaller viewership for Outlander weekly if many of those viewers are new subscribers they didn’t already have. They want shows that are going to bring in that money. This is where the true value of a show like Outlander lies, given that it will convince viewers to sign up for the service for a few months. While they almost never release this information, know that the subscriber base is actually what is going to keep Outlander on the air. That’s why paying for Starz is so important — your viewing habits and data will show them that, more than likely, Outlander is what you subscribed to watch.
Hopefully, this information helps to chart what Starz looks at when it comes to ratings — we’ll still look at live ratings just out of our own curiosity (and for anyone else out there curious about them), but we certainly understand it is a small piece in a larger puzzle.
Related News – Check out more expectations for this weekend’s new episode!
As always, we welcome some of our thoughts on this Outlander ratings piece now in the comments. (Photo: Starz.)