Netflix recently released the first of what it said would be a biannual list of all its shows and films and their hours viewed.
The list contains the titles of 99% of the shows and films currently within Netflix’s viewing catalogue.
The list has over 18,000 titles of its What We Watched: A Netflix Engagement Report, releasing the number of hours per title watched between January and June 2023.
The list includes the viewing hours of South African productions like the third season of Blood and Water (10.3 million hours), the first season of Savage Beauty (8.2 million hours), the first season of Young, Famous and African (6.2 million hours), the first season of Ludik (5.9 million), and films like Silverton Siege (4.8 million hours) and Trippin’ with the Kandasamys (300 000 hours).
Viewing of South African content paled in comparison with Netflix’s most viewed content during the period, like the first season of The Night Agent (812.1 million hours), Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (503 million hours) and the first season of Wednesday (507.7 million hours).
Netflix’s reluctance to release ratings data has been a move that was later parroted by streamers that launched after it, like Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and MultiChoice’s Showmax that send out press releases often touting “record-viewership” or “new record viewing” but without providing any actual viewership data for advertisers or the industry to track content success or failure.
“This is a big step forward for Netflix and our industry,” the global video streamer said in a statement.
“We believe the viewing information in this report – combined with our weekly Top 10 and Most Popular lists – will give creators and our industry deeper insights into our audiences and what resonates with them.”
The list gives the hours viewers for every title, original and licensed, watched for over 50,000 hours, the premiere date for any Netflix TV series or film, and whether a title was available globally.
Netflix noted the “enthusiasm for non-English stories, which generated 30% of all viewing, ” and the “staying power of titles on Netflix, which extends well beyond their premieres.” Netflix also says the demand for older, licensed titles “generates tremendous value for our members and rights holders”.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO, said, “The unintended consequence of not having more transparent data about our engagement was that it created an atmosphere of mistrust over time with producers and creators and the press about what was happening on Netflix”.
He called the release of the Netflix viewership data report “an important milestone for our industry”.