Netflix CEO says ‘Baby Reindeer’ success is for one reason only
(Credit: Netflix)


Netflix CEO says 'Baby Reindeer' success is for one reason only

There’s no guaranteed way of predicting which original movies and TV shows are going to take off on Netflix, although the streaming service’s CEO has an idea as to why Richard Gadd’s Baby Reindeer became such a breakout hit.

After debuting rather inauspiciously on April 11th, the semi-autobiographical miniseries exploded in popularity to become one of the platform’s most-watched shows, spending weeks at number one in the viewership charts on its way to becoming a cultural juggernaut and hotly-discussed talking point.

There’s even potential legal ramifications looming in the background after the woman who claims to be the inspiration for the stalker character of Martha voiced her intentions of suing Netflix and Gadd for the way she was represented, which if anything only enhanced its word-of-mouth and ongoing buzz.

As mentioned, outside of boasting some recognisable Hollywood superstars as part of the cast, there aren’t many in-house productions that can be singled out as nailed-on hits with any degree of certainty, but Ted Sarandos has opted to pat himself on the back when explaining his reasoning behind Baby Reindeer‘s success.

According to the boss, it’s all because of Netflix’s algorithm, which encouraged subscribers from all over the world to check out the seven-episode drama originated in the United Kingdom, gradually giving rise to Baby Reindeer‘s path towards world domination.

“When you see something like Baby Reindeer, there was a time when something like Baby Reindeer would not even be seen in the United States,” Sarandos told the New York Times. “And if it did, it’d be on PBS once. It’s very, very big in the UK, and in that way that Netflix does, it gets picked up in the algorithm and starts getting more presented.”

Further touting his own technology, Sarandos insisted that “when something gets that big in one country, it’s likely there’s a lot of audience for it outside of that country.” As a result, when the algorithm began recommending Baby Reindeer to countries outside of the UK, it ended up becoming “an enormous hit around the world.”

Sarandos also praised the authentic localisation of the story, which leads to one hand feeding the other when international audiences discover it for themselves. “If your movie, if your film works, if your TV series works in the home country, it’s got to be very authentic,” he said. “I can’t think of anything that we’ve done that has been engineered to travel that actually did travel.”