Netflix Finally Shares Better Viewership Data For Its Most Popular Shows

For as much as streaming services love boasting about their record-breaking numbers, it’s still difficult to accurately gauge exactly how well a popular show performs. But today, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has shared a better set of data on the streamer’s top movies and TV shows yet than what the company has provided before.

At Vox Media’s Code Conference, Sarandos shared two slides that highlight two different metrics. One that measures “[Number] of Accounts” tracks the number of users that watched at least two minutes of a show or movie within the first 28 days of release. This is how Netflix has previously shared viewership metrics with the public.

The second chart measures total hours spent watching a show or movie within the first 28 days of release. This is not a metric Netflix has previously revealed to the public or press.

“We’re trying to be more transparent with talent, with the market,” Variety reports Sarandos telling the crowd at Code Conference.

Based on the different data above you get a few common titles that can be considered Netflix’s biggest hits including Bridgerton, Bird Box, and Extraction. Other top shows include The Witcher, Lupin, Money Heist, and Stranger Things.

These are shows Netflix has touted as some of the most successful on the platform, but the additional data helps contextualize the degrees of their success. The Spanish crime drama has long been known to be a popular international hit for Netflix, but in terms of hours viewed it beats shows like Stranger Things and 13 Reasons Why by considerable margins.

Similarly, Lupin appears to be a proper hit as well, beating Stranger Things by 10 million additional viewership accounts. Both Lupin and Money Heist are foreign-language productions but dominate Netflix’s metrics, putting the company’s aggressive expansion into foreign-language content into more context. 

Sarandos reportedly said the South Korean hit Squid Game is on track to “be the most popular Netflix show ever[.]”

These metrics still don’t present the full picture and can be the result of factors beyond popularity. But as far as transparency goes, this data is more than we’ve seen before from Netflix and other streamers like Apple TV+. Hopefully, there’s more of this in the future as well.

Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.

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