Netflix continues to establish itself as a leader in the streaming market by finally publishing its streaming data. The company has always been notoriously secretive about the viewership of its series, with data usually only becoming public at quarterly earnings reports. That’s all about to change thanks to Netflix’s new Top 10 website.
How to find the most popular titles on Netflix
Top 10 on Netflix is a new website from the company that is dedicated to listing the top titles each week based on viewing data. It’s separate from the Netflix streaming website itself.
Each week, Netflix will publish lists that break down the top 10 titles globally in these categories:
- Films (English)
- Films (non-English)
- Television (English)
- Television (non-English)
These lists can also be filtered by individual countries.
For example, here’s what the website shows for Australia’s top 10 films right now.
Top 10 on Netflix will be available in addition to the top 10 rows on Netflix’s service. So you can still see what’s popular in your country through your usual Netflix homepage.
In terms of what data is being used, Netflix has decided its metrics are based on hours viewed of a series. This means, regardless of whether you finished a series, watched it multiple times or never got past the first episode, it all counts towards Netflix’s ratings that week.
Netflix said it feels this data is most relevant to streaming audiences:
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.
Netflix also recognised that this metric favours longer series or movies, so it said it would also be publishing specialty lists with titles like documentaries or reality shows that appear less frequently in top 10 lists.
There’s also a running list of the most popular titles of all time on Netflix in each of those categories. These are based on viewing hours in the first 28 days of release rather than week to week.
Why does Netflix’s data matter?
So, why is this important?
For viewers, it means you can find out what’s popular in your country and others, hopefully making it easier to find new recommendations and things you’ll enjoy watching.
Breaking titles down by language and country is also particularly useful for those searching specifically for non-English titles to watch, which is sometimes a challenge during your average Netflix search.
For the industry, Netflix’s Top 10 has an even broader impact.
For years, the rise and fall of television shows have been determined by ratings (how many people are watching a show live) and movies rely on box office returns.
This doesn’t really apply to streaming, so it’s been hard to tell whether a title is ‘good’ or not statistically. Hence, we turn to things like Rotten Tomatoes and social media to get an idea.
Netflix is the first streaming service to release its viewership data to the public in this way. Sure, it’s taken a few years for them to do that, but data like this helps to understand just how much of an impact a title is making and its likelihood of returning for sequels or multiple seasons.
It will also hopefully encourage other streaming services to do the same so we can also understand what’s popular on platforms like Disney+ or Apple TV+.