Netflix reveals most-watched shows and films for the first time

After three seasons, Netflix cancelled Drew Barrymore’s show, Santa Clarita Diet (credit: Netflix)
After three seasons, Netflix cancelled Drew Barrymore’s show, Santa Clarita Diet (credit: Netflix)

Netflix UK has finally decided to reveal what their subscribers are actually watching, after years of keeping viewer information a closely guarded secret.

And it’s not just a one-off event. “From next Wednesday we’ll bring you WEEKLY top 10 lists. So keep an eye out if you like great TV, great films, *or* lengthy twitter threads. Some of you will also see these lists on Netflix starting next week,” the service announced via its official Twitter account.

So, what’s the biggest story amongst the stats? Probably that Santa Clarita Diet, cancelled recently to much fan outcry, is a top 10 show for the streaming service.

It could be argued that the Santa Clarita Diet figures went up following the outcry, as people decided to check out what was making fans so upset, but as the data is compiled from ‘the most-watched individual season of a show, film or special (regardless of when it launched)’ and that ‘“watched” means members finished at least 70% of one episode,’ Netflix’s execs might just be having a rethink about the decision to cancel Diet over, say, The OA.

In other news, if you want to have a successful film on Netflix, then stick ‘The’ in the title. The top five most-watched movies in April consist of The Perfect Date, The Highwaymen, The Silence, The Spy Who Dumped Me, and the only outlier; Someone Great.

It appears the direct-to-video market is alive and well on the streaming service, we doubt any of these films will be troubling the Oscars next year.

Perhaps that’s why Netflix has held onto this information for so long, guilty pleasures are one thing, but they’re not exactly something to boast about. Could this revelation affect the brand’s reputation?

Still, this policy of openness might not last forever. “It’s a test as we want to make sure this information is useful for you. So we may tweak it in the weeks ahead. eg. we’re not including kids right now. And if people don’t find it useful we’ll stop,” Netflix’s Twitter account said.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this weekly analysis.