Netflix is starting to share a lot more data about the most popular titles on its platform: The streaming giant unveiled a new Top 10 site Tuesday that lists the most popular TV shows and films across the entire service, as well as more specific data for 90 markets. Globally, the company is also breaking out English-language hits and non-English blockbusters, with new lists published every Tuesday.
These new Netflix charts are based on total watch time, a metric that Netflix recently adopted. Previously, the company was calculating how many times a title had been watched for at least two minutes to determine popularity.
"Figuring out how best to measure success in streaming is hard, and there's no one perfect metric," explained Netflix VP Pablo Perez De Rosso in a blog post. "Traditional measures like box office or share of audience (which was designed to help advertisers understand success on linear TV) aren't relevant to most streamers, including Netflix. Having looked at the different options, we believe engagement as measured by hours viewed is a strong indicator of a title's popularity, as well as overall member satisfaction, which is important for retention in subscription services."
De Rosso acknowledged that this new watch-time metric might favor longer TV shows and movies over shorter projects, including documentaries or limited series, and said that Netflix might occasionally publish special lists to highlight those titles. He also argued that the number of people who finished a series or movie wasn't as relevant, in part because they may be doing, well, other things.
"We believe that whether you miss the end of one episode in a 10 hour series (a crying baby or Netflix and chill), or you don't wait for the Easter egg in the credits sequence, or you rewatch one scene multiple times rather than the whole film, all that viewing should be reflected in the popularity of the title," De Rosso wrote.
Some of the most popular Netflix titles for the week of Nov. 8-14 included "Squid Game" (most-watched non-English language show), "Narcos: Mexico Season 3" (most-watched English language show), "Red Notice" (most-watched English language movie) and "Yara" (most-watched non-English language movie).