As part of Netflix’s attempts to boost data transparency, the streaming platform has now released its first detailed viewership data report, with information on the most popular movies and shows. The list includes 18,214 titles available on the platform, each of which has garnered over 50,000 hours over six months — January to June. While the company already offers a list of its monthly Top 10 titles, this report has been gathered over a longer period and is, therefore, in-depth with details of three main aspects — whether the title is available globally, its release date, and hours viewed. Leading the pack is the Gabriel Basso-led The Night Agent with 812.1 million hours of watch time, charting the tale of a low-level FBI agent who gets roped into a major government conspiracy.
Second on the list is Ginny & Georgia season 2 with 665.1 million hours, followed closely by the South Korean thriller Glory with 622.8 million hours viewed. Jenna Ortega starrer Wednesday, the global phenomenon drawing from the infamous Addams Family, racked up 507.7 million hours, taking the fourth place on the list — despite having released in November last year and bested Stranger Things 4 at the time. And finally, we have Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story in fifth place at 503 million hours viewed.
It is worth stressing, however, that Netflix has curated this list using total hours viewed, rather than the formula it came up with to measure ‘views’ when listing the monthly Top 10s. In it, the company would take the hours viewed and divide it by the runtime to calculate the total number of views.
Netflix says it will publish such extensive reports twice a year — the next one detailing the most in-demand titles from July to December — entirely accessible to the public via a downloadable spreadsheet. Much of the sheet is dominated by Netflix originals, with Rana Naidu season 1 being the only Indian entry among the top 400, with 46.3 million hours of view time. “We believe the viewing information in this report — combined with our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists — will give creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences, and what resonates with them,” the blog post reads. The lack of streamer data was one of the biggest points of contention during the Hollywood labour strikes, with writers and actors demanding residuals for reruns of shows and movies they’d worked on. It was easy to calculate when things were repeatedly broadcast on cable, but with the advent of streaming platforms, those numbers were no longer disclosed.
As the writers’ strike came to a halt, major production studios — including the aforementioned Netflix — were forced to be more transparent in sharing streaming data with the guild. That said, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos claims — despite the convenient timing — that the streamer always planned on being more open toward its creators and acknowledged how this workflow might have led to mistrust over time. “The unintended consequence of not having more transparent data about our engagement was that it created an atmosphere of mistrust over time with producers and creators and the press about what was happening on Netflix,” Sarandos said in a call (via Deadline).