Netflix Shares Viewer Data for the First Time: Unveiling the Most-Watched Show of 2023
Written by Sanjay Kumar
In a groundbreaking move, Netflix Inc. has opened its vault of viewer data, releasing a comprehensive midyear report detailing the global viewership of every title on its streaming platform. The report, titled “What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report,” marks a significant departure from the streaming giant’s longstanding tradition of keeping viewership figures under wraps.
The political thriller “The Night Agent” emerged as the undisputed champion, claiming the title of the most-watched show globally in the first half of 2023. Garnering an impressive 812.1 million hours of viewing, the series captured the audience’s attention on an unprecedented scale. Following closely behind were Season 2 of the family drama “Ginny & Georgia” and the debut of “The Glory,” a South Korean series that quickly gained international acclaim.
This move towards transparency comes after a protracted battle between Hollywood labor unions and major studios, punctuated by two industry strikes. The aftermath saw writers and actors securing increased compensation for their contributions to streaming platforms, with a pivotal focus on greater disclosure of US viewer data by services like Netflix.
Netflix’s co-Chief Executive Officer, Ted Sarandos, acknowledged the demand for transparency, stating, “Over the last 16 years of streaming, one constant has been people asking for more viewership data.” He recognized that the lack of transparency had led to “mistrust over time” within the creative community.
The newfound commitment to transparency is evident in Netflix’s semiannual report, covering more than 18,000 titles, including thousands of films and shows that generated between 50,000 to 100,000 hours of viewing. The streaming giant has started publishing weekly top 10 lists, offering insights into the most-watched movies and TV shows in English and various other languages.
While Netflix has traditionally kept a tight lid on viewership figures, recent shifts in the industry landscape have prompted the company to share more data. The release of this comprehensive midyear report not only satisfies the curiosity of viewers but also addresses concerns raised by creatives who argued that Netflix was withholding audience data to avoid increased compensation for its successful programs.
With the streaming giant’s increased transparency, viewers, suppliers, and competitors alike now have a more nuanced understanding of global viewing habits, setting a new standard for the industry.
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