HOLLYWOOD Netflix Pulls Big Hollywood Power Move, Releases Data on...

Netflix Pulls Big Hollywood Power Move, Releases Data on Shows, Movies

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  • Netflix just shared a huge tranche of viewership data showing its top content from January to June.
  • The data emphasizes how huge Netflix’s audience is and how deeply it engages.
  • You can almost feel Netflix daring its smaller rivals to release similar data.

Netflix flexed its muscles on Tuesday by releasing a massive data set showing its top shows and movies by viewing hours from January to June of this year.

It was a classic Hollywood power move.

First off, Netflix got to showcase the size of its audience and how deep the engagement has been on certain titles. The report covered almost 100 billion viewing hours and the top title, “The Night Agent: Season 1,” scored over 800 million viewing hours. Good luck to any of Netflix’s smaller rivals — and they are all quite a bit smaller — that want to release similar data. You can almost feel Netflix daring them to do it, as it would highlight how puny their audiences are in comparison.

Netflix has nearly 250 million subscribers, while Disney Plus has 150 million, WBD has about 95 million (on Max and Discovery+), and the rest of the industry trails that (except Amazon which bundles its video with Prime). It’s just not even close.

Sheer volume of viewing hours wasn’t the only Netflix flex in the report, however.

Industry watchers had already seen the power of hits like “The Night Agent” and “Ginny & Georgia” through Netflix’s release of Top 10 lists. But seeing their viewing totals tallied up puts into perspective that these shows — which have been at times dismissed by some critics as boring, broadcast-TV-style fare — drive huge engagement. “Ginny & Georgia” had two seasons in the top 10!

What’s more, Netflix now has the ability to point to the data if fans complain about their favorite shows getting canceled. One knock on Netflix’s previous efforts at transparency, in the form of its Top 10 lists, was that they showed the big hits but didn’t give much information on modest ones, especially if they were slow burns.

That’s not the case with a huge set of data like this one. If someone complains about a show getting canceled, no matter how robust the social media campaign generated by the superfans, now Netflix can send the spreadsheet and say: “Sorry, no one was watching.”

And lastly, the most disruptive company in entertainment demonstrated once again that it’s not afraid to disrupt itself. After years of keeping viewership numbers completely under wraps, then cracking the door open — carefully and selectively — with its top 10 lists, the company suddenly and dramatically dumped an eye-popping, comprehensive data set.

Now everyone in Hollywood and media is talking about what these numbers mean for the company — its content mix, its ads business, its strategy — and for the broader industry.

A four-dimensional power move on a Tuesday? Not bad for Netflix.

Here were the top 10 Netflix titles and their viewing hours from January to June:

  1. “The Night Agent”: Season 1 (812,100,000 hours)

  2. “Ginny & Georgia”: Season 2 (665,100,000 hours)

  3. “The Glory”: Season 1 (622,800,000 hours)

  4. “Wednesday”: Season 1 (507,700,000 hours)

  5. “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (503,000,000 hours)

  6. “You”: Season 4 (440,600,000 hours)

  7. “La Reina del Sur”: Season 3 (429,600,000 hours)

  8. “Outer Banks”: Season 3 (402,500,000 hours)

  9. “Ginny & Georgia”: Season 1 (302,100,000 hours)

  10. “FUBAR”: Season 1 (266,200,000 hours)

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