by Thinus Ferreira
Netflix has released the video streaming service's top 10 most popular TV shows and films, ranked by number of households that watched, and the overall time spent watching, with Shonda Rhimes' Bridgerton topping the list in the number one spot on both lists, and the film Extraction placed first for most households watching, and the film Bird Box placed first for most time spent watching.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix CEO, spoke at the Vox Media Code Conference on Monday in Los Angeles and gave what he described as "the most comprehensive look so far" at the video streamer's most watched TV shows and films.
Although still largely guarding its viewable information but now tracked independently by Nielsen and other ratings companies for the TV and film industry, Netflix has steadily been moving to become more transparent about its audience numbers.
Streaming services like MultiChoice's Showmax in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa still remains tight-lipped about its actual users and viewership, issuing only vague, non-descript viewership claims without any actual ratings numbers.
It's because Showmax and others, although growing, are doing so from a very small base, and ratings would give an indication of how small these services still are compared to legacy broadcast channels and services.
In his speech at the Vox Media Code Conference, Ted Sarandos said that Netflix is "trying to be more transparent with talent; with the market", admitting that Netflix's user data and ratings has been a "big black box, mostly" for the past number of years.
Netflix now counts a "view" of its content when a users streamed something for 2 minutes.
Ted Sarandos showed two slides, with the information that is based on Netflix's own internal monitoring of how its users are consuming its content, and that is based on the data of the first 28-days of release of a title.
The spiced-up period drama Bridgerton from Shonda Rhimes ranks number one on Netflix's list of the TV show that racked up the most views from households, as well as the time spent viewing over 4 weeks, with Bridgerton coming in at 82 million accounts, and 625 million hours watched.
The film Extraction with Chris Hemsworth tops the list as the number one film on the list of households that watched (99 million),with Bird Box in the second spot (89 million), with Bird Box topping the film list of most time spent watching (282 million hours).
Ted Sarandos mentioned that the non-English Korean survival drama series Squid Game that was released on Netflix on 17 September is on track to become the most popular Netflix show ever, and is currently ranking as the number one show globally on Netflix.
"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," he said, noting that Netflix is "competing with ourselves".
Ted Sarandos also dismissed Ted Lasso of Apple's Apple TV+ streaming service that last week won several Emmy Awards, as an "awards-ey show" that very likely only has a very small audience.
Like Showmax, Apple TV+ is also deliberately opaque about releasing any viewership information and has never released ratings data or how many subscribers it has as it lags far behind bigger global streaming services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.
"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," Ted Sarandos said.
Netflix ended the second quarter of 2021 with 209.18 million paid global streaming subscribers.
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