Netflix’s co-CEO and chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, in a recent conference revealed what he said was the “most comprehensive look so far” at Netflix’s top 10 TV shows and movies.
Sarandos made appearance at Vox Media’s Code Conference at the Beverly Hilton. He shared two slides releasing never seen before Netflix’s engagement data. One showed the most popular Netflix shows based on its proprietary metric of the number of accounts that selected a given title in the first 28 days of release (and streamed for at least 2 minutes). A second showed total time spent viewing by hours within the initial 28-day window.
According to Variety, Sarandos said “We’re trying to be more transparent with talent, with the market,” Netflix’s streaming data, he acknowledged, is “a big black box, mostly.
Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton season 1 scored as the No. 1 series based on both number of Netflix households and time spent viewing (in the initial four-week release), while Extraction was the most-viewed film in terms of households and Bird Box was the most-watched movie in terms of hours.
Top 10 series by total view hours in the first 28 days:
Bridgerton, season 1: 625 million hours
Money Heist, part 4: 619 million hours
Stranger Things 3: 582 million hours
The Witcher, season 1: 541 million hours
13 Reasons Why, season 2: 496 million hours
13 Reasons Why, season 1: 476 million hours
You, season 2: 457 million hours
Stranger Things 2: 427 million hours
Money Heist, part 3: 426 million hours
Ginny & Georgia, season 1: 381 million hours
Top 10 series by number of accounts that watched at least 2 minutes in its first 28 days of release:
Bridgerton, season 1: 82 million
Lupin, part 1: 76 million
The Witcher, season 1: 67 million
Sex/Life, season 1: 67 million
Stranger Things 3: 67 million (the only previously unreleased figure)
Money Heist, part 4: 65 million
Tiger King, season 1: 64 million
The Queen's Gambit: 62 million
Sweet Tooth, season 1: 60 million
Emily in Paris, season 1: 58 million
Top 10 movies by total view hours in the first 28 days:
Bird Box: 282 million hours
Extraction: 231 million hours
The Irishman: 215 million hours
The Kissing Booth 2: 209 million hours
6 Underground: 205 million hours
Spenser Confidential: 197 million hours
Enola Holmes: 190 million hours
Army of the Dead: 187 million hours
The Old Guard: 186 million hours
Murder Mystery: 170 million hours
Top 10 movies by number of accounts that watched at least 2 minutes in its first 28 days of release:
Extraction: 99 million
Bird Box: 89 million
Spenser Confidential: 85 million
6 Underground: 83 million
Murder Mystery: 83 million
The Old Guard: 78 million
Enola Holmes: 77 million
Project Power: 75 million
Army of the Dead: 75 million
Fatherhood: 74 million
Sarandos was interviewed on stage by Vox Media’s Kara Swisher. Besides the engagement data, Sarandos also shared his views on talent compensation and that if Netflix would by a theater chain or a digital music company like Spotify. As he’s said many times before, Sarandos said Netflix isn’t interested in pursuing live sports rights. Sarandos said Netflix is feeling “maybe more confident” in competing with the likes of Disney and WarnerMedia as they continue to ramp up their push into streaming (“our home field”). Netflix, which ended the second quarter with just over 209 million paid streaming subscribers worldwide, is really “competing with ourselves.”
Sarandos commented. “The thing I’m concerned with over the next decade is, can we continue to execute [at scale]… To me, that’s more troubling that any competition in the marketplace.”
Netflix’s day-and-date release strategy for movies “is not very exotic anymore,” Sarandos said (who added with a laugh, “Tiger King 2 is coming!”).
Sarandos was named co-CEO alongside Reed Hastings in July 2020. He oversees the company’s teams worldwide responsible for the acquisition and production of all Netflix content.
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