by netflix definition of a successful show has been opaque at times, to put it mildly, but the company may have just provided meaningful transparency. The streaming service has spear a “Top 10 on Netflix” website which shows the movies and TV shows on the service, in English and not in English. You’ll see aggregate and country-specific data to save the rankings, including the total number of hours viewed and the number of weeks on the chart.
You will also find all time statistics and the list of countries where a given title appears in the charts. Netflix even lets you download lists in Excel or TSV formats if you fancy raw data.
The first rankings do not hold too many surprises. The star Red Notice was by far the most popular film in the world in terms of time spent, racking up 148.7 million viewing hours in its first week. To injure was the most watched non-English title with almost 18 million views. The last season of Narcos: Mexico topped the English TV list with around 50.3 million hours after two weeks, and it won’t shock you to hear Squid game dominated non-English television with 42.8 million million hours and nine weeks in the top 10.
Yes, Netflix was aware that its viewing metric favored long-form movies and shows. It planned to offer “occasionally” specialized charts to give way to popular productions in certain fields (such as documentaries). However, the company said it won’t reveal how many people have completed a given movie or series – it believes every hour is relevant that you get distracted (think Netflix and relax), watching a favorite show or focusing on an individual scene.
The site will not answer all questions about Netflix’s rankings. You might know which shows get the most viewing time, but you won’t know exactly what it takes to get a renewal or a sequel. Still, the potential effects are significant. Watchers could better tell if a headline’s audience really matches the hype, or which countries are driving demand. And although the studios are probably very aware of the situation of their releases, the site could push some to “optimize” their programming to ensure a consistently high ranking.
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