The news that Netflix‘s The Queen’s Gambit has reached over 62MM viewers worldwide over the past three days has revived the harrumphing in my Twitter feed about Netflix’s two minute standard for counting a view, which is less than a year-old.
It all reminded me of something I wrote back in January about Netflix’s adoption of the two-minute standard and how it reminded me of the Hawking Index ($ – WSJ subscription required). The Hawking Index is named after Stephen Hawking in tribute to his book “A Brief History of Time,” widely called “the most unread book of all time.”
What makes Amazon‘s “Popular Highlights” feature useful here is that it is a helpful contrast to Netflix’s total viewers metric: it unintentionally sheds valuable light on reader behaviors simply because the feature is used at scale and by a Kindle reader base at scale (different Google searches generally put this base to be in the tens of millions). Whereas with Netflix, we must take them at their word.