Netflix spills top 10 shows and movies by hours watched for the first time – CNET

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Stranger Things is among the shows that a new hours-watched metric shows are more popular than Netflix’s previous metrics revealed. 

Netflix

Netflix released top-10 rankings Monday for its most popular original shows and movies by the number of hours total that people watched them in the first month of their release, the first time it has disclosed that kind of data for its programming. 

For the last couple of years, Netflix has been more aggressive in publicizing the its most popular titles, but typically its viewership stats were based on the number of accounts that viewed at least 2 minutes of a program — a metric sometimes criticized for not really showing how many people watched a show, just how many sampled it. The hours-watched metric also shows the strength of some shows that were released before Netflix began to be consistently vocal about viewership stats — or were released so long ago that Netflix simply had millions fewer accounts out there to watch them than newer shows enjoy, 

Stranger Things‘ third season, for example, is Netflix’s fifth most popular show by number of accounts sampling it. But by hours watched, the fourth season of Stranger Things is Netflix’s No. 3 most popular original series, and its second season — which came out when Netflix had 100 million fewer subscribers than it has now — is its No. 8 top show. 

Hours watched, as a metric, is a better gauge of enduring appeal of particular titles. But it has some drawbacks as a metric too: For example, it favors to movies and TV seasons that simply have longer runtimes. Three-and-a-half-hour long The Irishman suddenly appears in the Netflix’s film top-10 list by hours watched, even though it falls far short of a top-10 ranking if you count how many accounts sampled it. 

For years, Netflix was notoriously tight-lipped about viewership. The creator of House of Cards, which put Netflix’s original content efforts on the map, once said the company wouldn’t even share viewership metrics with him. But within the last two years, Netflix has grown much chattier about the popularity of its shows and movies, to help recruit talent and stoke buzz. Netflix also added a top-trending ranking to its service, so people can see what the most popular titles streaming on Netflix in their country are on any given day. 

But Netflix’s audience stats have exasperated parts of the TV industry for being unverified, unsupported and disclosed without much accountability.

Netflix top 10 series by total view hours in the first 28 days: 

  1. Bridgerton, season 1 — 625 million hours
  2. Money Heist, part 4 — 619 million hours
  3. Stranger Things 3 — 582 million hours
  4. The Witcher, season 1 — 541 million hours
  5. 13 Reasons Why, season 2 — 496 million hours
  6. 13 Reasons Why, season 1 — 476 million hours
  7. You, season 2 — 457 million hours
  8. Stranger Things 2 — 427 million hours
  9. Money Heist, part 3 — 426 million hours
  10. Ginny & Georgia, season 1 — 381 million hours

Netflix top 10 films by total view hours in the first 28 days: 

  1. Bird Box — 282 million hours
  2. Extraction — 231 million hours
  3. The Irishman — 215 million hours
  4. The Kissing Booth 2 — 209 million hours
  5. 6 Underground — 205 million hours
  6. Spenser Confidential — 197 million hours
  7. Enola Holmes — 190 million hours
  8. Army of the Dead — 187 million hours
  9. The Old Guard — 186 million hours
  10. Murder Mystery — 170 million hours

Netflix has previously released all the viewership stats for the shows and movies in its top 10 rankings by number of accounts that sampled them. For reference, those rankings are: 

Netflix top 10 series by number of accounts that have watched at least 2 minutes in its first 28 days of release:

  1. Bridgerton, season 1 — 82 million
  2. Lupin, part 1 — 76 million
  3. The Witcher, season 1 — 67 million
  4. Sex/Life, season 1 — 67 million
  5. Stranger Things 3 — 67 million
  6. Money Heist, part 4 — 65 million
  7. Tiger King, season 1 — 64 million
  8. The Queen’s Gambit — 62 million
  9. Sweet Tooth, season 1 — 60 million
  10. Emily in Paris, season 1 — 58 million

Netflix top 10 films by number of accounts that have watched at least 2 minutes in its first 28 days of release:

  1. Extraction — 99 million
  2. Bird Box — 89 million
  3. Spenser Confidential — 85 million
  4. 6 Underground — 83 million
  5. Murder Mystery — 83 million
  6. The Old Guard — 78 million
  7. Enola Holmes — 77 million
  8. Project Power — 75 million
  9. Army of the Dead — 75 million
  10. Fatherhood — 74 million

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